THE National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) said on Wednesday that the harmonious substitution of existing concessionaires or the selected bidders in public-private partnership (PPP) projects would be allowed only once
during the construction period. Notifying guidelines that will facilitate substitution of concessionaires, the highway authority said that in cases where
the responsibility for delays in executing or completing a project
was the Authority’s — land acquisition and environmental clearances for instance — no penalty would be levied on the concessionaire for not fulfilling its obligations.
In the event of a default — situations where the concessionaire was likely to face financial distress and was likely to default in complying with the terms of the concession – the NHAI board may levy a penalty, subject to a cap of 1% of the project cost, in the event of a default, keeping in mind the extent and nature of the default.