National Highways Authority of India mulls options to carry out remaining work on Jaipur-Gurgaon stretch

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JAIPUR: After serving an “intention to issue termination notice” to the concessionaire on February 11, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is considering all alternatives to carry out the remaining work on the Jaipur-Gurgaon stretch of National Highway 8. But with limited options, the highway users will have to face misery for few more months.

The final decision on the contract agreement will be taken within 15 days of serving notice. Among the possible outcomes, the concessionaire may agree to finish the remaining work on time. However, if NHAI finds their reply unsatisfactory, the bankers will get 180 days time to substitute the developer. If they fail to do so, NHAI will take over the project.

According to sources, there are chances that the concessionaire, Pink City Expressway Private Limited (PCEPL) may agree to finish the remaining work on time. “There is lot of money at stake in this project. If NHAI takes over the project the banks will lose out the money they invested in the project,” said AK Mishra, chief general manager (technical), NHAI, Rajasthan.

As per the contract agreement, unless the developer gets the certificate of commercial operations date (COD), it will not be liable to pay to banks. If PCEPL continues, company will have to finish the six-laning and 53 structures by July 15 and balance four structures in the project by October 15, 2014.

Meanwhile, banks have the first to right to substitute the concessionaire. If it succeeds in finding one all the liability, debts, interest and balance, work of project will come over to new agency. However, people related to project claimed that this is most unlikely. Due to constant delays, the project cost escalation has been very high. Also returns on investments are going to very low as NHAI share from revenue will further increase from the present 51%.

“There have been hardly any instances where banks were able to find the substitute. No one would like to get into the project marred with delays and unavailability of land,” added Mishra.

The final option available with NHAI is to complete the project on its own. The authorities will the finish the project through EPC (engineering procurement construction) where government from its own pocket will fund the project.

“Best possible solution for taking up the balance activity on the project shall be arrived upon soon. All our actions are within the contractual provisions and in the interest of commuters,” said Mishra.


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