• NHAI to inject Rs 500 crore more into widening of Jaipur-Gurgaon stretch of NH-8

    To complete the long-delayed widening of Jaipur-Gurgaon stretch of National Highway 8 (NH-8), the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) is planning to make a one-time infusion of Rs 500 crore.

    The fresh injection of funds is expected from the Centre as onetime financial assistance given for completing selected projects. “The developer, Pink City Expressway Pvt Ltd (PCEPL), is facing shortage of funds. The proposal is under consideration of the Centre,” said a NHAI official.

    A meeting of a consortium of 14 banks was called by Union minister Nitin Gadkari and officials from his ministry at the PMO to discuss the matter.

    “At present, construction work of around Rs 400 crore is pending.PCEPL still has to invest Rs 40 crore of its share, while the banks have a commitment of Rs 150 crore more. This will not cover the cost, forcing NHAI to invest,” the official added.

    However, the funding will be conditional. The NHAI will seek to recover its investment through toll collections. The banks have reluctantly agreed to the new proposal though it will reduce their returns on investment.

    “Banks will only get an interest of 3-5% instead of the 8-9% mooted earlier on money invested in the project. But it’s better than the project being stalled due to paucity of funds,” said the official.

    Work on this stretch began in April 2009 and 2011 was the original deadline for completing it. But even after missing the deadline by over five years, the six-laning work is still `progressing’.

    In 2013, to make the project financially viable, the board of 14 banks had approved restructuring of the project after NHAI delinked 17 structures planned for the highway.

    The scaling down was aimed to give the developer and banks some breathing space. It also came as a respite for the state gover nment as all the 17 points, where these structures were planned, had become contentious following protests over land acquisition. Dave Keon Womens Jersey

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