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Govt Saved Banks From Rs 3 Lakh Cr NPAs By Completing 95% Road Projects: Gadkari
Gadkari also mentioned that the centre talked to bankers and cleared various bottlenecks including issues like land acquisition and coordinated with state governments and saved Indian banks from three lakh crore NPAs (Non-performing Assets)
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Minister for Road Transport and Highway Nitin Gadkari stated on Wednesday in Rajya Sabha that there are 415 road projects where 95 per cent of the work is already completed. However, it has been categorised under the delayed projects category.
State-wise monitoring of all such pending or delayed projects will be carried out by the government to clear the projects at the earliest, he confirmed.
While addressing the upper house question hour, Gadkari said when the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) government came into power in 2014, there were several projects worth Rs 3.85 lakh which were shut down for various reasons. The centre is planning to restart various delayed or stalled road projects in the future. Certain projects have been delayed due to the pandemic restrictions as their deadlines were extended, he added.
Gadkari also mentioned that the centre talked to bankers and cleared various bottlenecks including issues like land acquisition and coordinated with state governments and saved Indian banks from 3 lakh crore NPAs (Non-performing Assets).
Although, he assured that the government will supervise the delayed projects state-wise within the next three months including the contract-based projects.
Around 719 delayed national highway projects have been identified across various regions which have crossed their scheduled date of completion due to the COVID-19 pandemic, bottlenecks in land acquisition, statutory clearances/permissions encroachment removal, non-availability of soil/aggregate, law and order, the financial crunch of the concessionaire, poor performance of contractor/concessionaire, and above average monsoon rainfall in some states among other reasons.
Gadkari clarified that out of these 719 projects-- 268 projects have been delayed by less than one year, while 438 projects are expected to be completed in the current fiscal year as the centre is closely working with state governments, project management agencies and contractors.
Furthermore, periodic review meetings are being held at various levels to resolve the bottlenecks to completing the delayed projects.
To avoid project delays due to the unavailability of land, the government is ensuring that the projects get awarded after notifying 80 per cent of the required land under section 3(D) of the National Highways Act 1956, the minister stated.
Various steps are in the process for the timely completion of projects such as premium rescheduling, securitisation of road sector loans, one-time fund infusion, exit plan for equity investors, mutual termination/cancellation of awarded road projects, and re-bidding, revamping the dispute resolution system, relaxations in contract provisions under Atmanirbhar Bharat to improve the liquidity of funds available with contractors or developers, Gadkari told in a written statement.
A penal action would be taken against the contractor as per contract provision for the delayed projects or stalled ones and to ensure timely clearance of executed projects, close coordination with other concerned departments such as environment, forest, and others will be initiated, he concluded.