719 NH projects facing delays, 438 may be completed in current fiscal: Nitin Gadkari

As many as 719 national highway (NH) projects are facing delays and 438 projects of these are likely to be completed in the ongoing fiscal, Parliament was informed on Wednesday. As many as 268 projects are facing delays of less than a year, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari informed the Rajya Sabha.

In a written reply to the Rajya Sabha, Gadkari said, “The government constantly monitors sanctioned projects and as part of this exercise, 719 delayed National Highway projects have been identified across various states.”

These projects are not stalled but have gone beyond the scheduled date of completion due to reasons like above average monsoon rainfall in some states, COVID-19 pandemic, bottlenecks in land acquisition and financial crunch of the concessionaire.

The government, he said, is closely tracking the construction progress of these projects and 438 projects may be completed in the current fiscal.
The government is proactively working with project implementing agencies, states, contractors. Periodic review meetings are being held at various levels to resolve the bottlenecks and complete these delayed projects, he added.

“In order to avoid project delays due to unavailability of land, government is ensuring that projects get awarded after notifying 80 per cent of the required land under section 3(D) of the National Highways Act 1956,” Gadkari said.

For projects delayed or stalled due to reasons attributable to the contractor, penal action is taken against the contractor as per contract provision.

Further, close coordination with other concerned departments such as environment and forest is being done for ensuring timely clearances for project execution.

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