Raising “deep” concerns over functioning of NHAI, a Parliamentary panel today said the highways regulator spent just 26 per cent of the allocated fund at a time when private players were withdrawing from road projects on equity crunch.
“The committee after scrutinising the information provided by the Ministry, expresses its deep concern over the functioning of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and the unsatisfactory progress of development of National Highways in the country, ,” the Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture said.
NHAI was able to spend Rs 6,208 crore only out of Rs 23,691.8 crore allocated during 2014-15, it said in its report tabled in Parliament today.
“The Committee is dismayed to note that when the private players are withdrawing from National Highways projects due to non-availability of equity and loan to carry forward the projects, NHAI was able to spend just 26 per cent of the allocated fund,” it said.
It said with this spending trend, “NHAI would not be in a position to achieve its target in the coming years.”
Last week, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari has said projects worth Rs 3.80 lakh crore were stuck for want of land, environment and forest clearances and railway over-bridges approval, when the NDA government had taken over last year.
The Committee said on account of difficulties faced in the award and implementation of project stretches, the government had to resort to engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) mode apart from public-private-partnership method.
“The Committee notes that out of 7980 km length of National Highways awarded during the last year, 700 km had gone on PPP mode and the rest were government-funded EPC projects,” it said.
It expressed hope that NHAI will complete all the ongoing projects within the scheduled time for better National Highways connectivity across the length and breadth of the country.