Long delays have become a hallmark of NHAI projects, with just 55 out of the total 388 such works getting completed on or before time between 1995 and 2016, a parliamentary panel said today. However, it also expressed hope that the situation will improve as the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has decided to award projects only after 80 per cent land has been acquired. “Long delays have become a hallmark of all highway projects which is evident from the fact that since 1995,… (when) NHAI was operationalised, till June 30, 2016, out of the total 388 projects completed, only 55 projects were completed on or before time,” the Committee on Public Undertakings said in its report tabled in Parliament today.
It attributed the delays to problems relating to land acquisition and regulatory hurdles. It said it has come across instances where NHAI had awarded the projects even before obtaining the required regulatory approvals and acquisition of land. The committee said it has been informed that “a decision has since been taken by NHAI that henceforth no project would be awarded unless 80 per cent of land is available with the Authority with requisite forest clearance.” Stressing that such a decision should have been taken by the NHAI long back, it expressed hope of better outcome following implementation of favourable policies.