15 Feb 2014

Six-Laning of Bypasses

About 6,500 kms of National Highways including Indore-Devas are being six laned under National Highways Development Programme (NHDP) Phase-V which includes bypasses also. No standalone bypasses have been taken up for six laning. 

Construction of service road is provided in the six-laning projects keeping in view the site requirement and viability of projects. 

In general, construction work is affected due to problems such as land acquisition, shifting of utilities, environmental and forest clearance, approval for rail over bridges, law & order problem as well as shortage of skilled / semi-skilled manpower, poor performance of contractors and economic slowdown.

 In addition, some of the six-laning projects are not able to take off due to non-achievement of financial closure and non-declaration of appointed date. 

In order to expedite implementation of the projects, Regional Offices have been set up by National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) headed by Chief General Manager with delegated powers. Special land acquisition units are also set up to expedite land acquisition. 

Chief Secretaries of State Government have also been nominated as Nodal officers to expedite pre-construction activities. Projects are also closely and periodically reviewed at Headquarter as well as field units. 

Recently, the issues of delinking environmental clearance from forest clearance and exempting linear stretches from the requirement of NOC from Gram Sabha have been resolved.

 Reserve Bank of India has given dispensation to treat the debt due to lenders, to the extent assured by Project Authorities in terms of concession agreement, as secured loan.

 Disinvestment of 100% equity to other willing buyers has been allowed after completion of the construction and also substitution of concessionaire allowed after achievement of financial closure to salvage the languishing projects. 

The NHAI has also constituted Negotiation / Reconciliation Settlement Committees and also High Level Expert Settlement Advisory Committee to settle the claims / disputes. 

This was stated by Shri Oscar Fernandes, the Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways in response to a written question in Lok Sabha today. 

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