Lenders want 100% land acquired before awarding highway projects
“We are not taking up new projects unless 100% land acquisition is done.
We are taking up the issue with NHAI,” IIFCL chairman SK Goel told FE. “We feel other lenders will follow suit,” he added.
An IDBI Bank official said lenders have started avoiding road projects or have started thinking so after GMR terminated an agreement to build a 555-km highway in Gujarat and GVK threatened to pull out of a 330-km highway in Madhya Pradesh.
Although the road ministry and NHAI are weighing various options including barring GMR from bidding for a few years, lenders and builders are insisting on all clearances before thinking of new projects.
National Highways Builders Federation director general M Murali told FE: “We want NHAI to make 100% right of way along with environmental, forest and wildlife clearances available before awarding projects. Projects shouldn’t be put up for bidding before achieving the same.”
Highway builders wrote to NHAI chairman RP Singh on January 9 to consider the proposal. Feedback Ventures chairman Vinayak Chatterjee endorsed the suggestion: “The government should make it mandatory to have all necessary approvals in place before inviting bids. Developers moving out of esteemed projects has a negative
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