Road developers seek urgent revamp of NHAI news
21 June 2011

With over Rs10,000 crore tied up in disputes between private road developers and the National Highways Authority of India, the developers have asked the government to streamline the functioning of NHAI, the nodal agency for the award of highway building contracts.

At a closed-door meeting with road transport and highways minister C P Joshi on Monday, the private players said the ministry must appoint separate NHAI members for procurement, dispute resolution and legal issues. Currently, all these tasks are performed by the member (administration) of NHAI.

They have demanded that an independent regulator be set up to look into dispute. They also suggested that top posts in the NHAI be opened for corporate executives.

Confirming the demands of the contractors, Joshi said the stakeholders want to have a dedicated cell that can resolve the financial and contractual disputes to avoid cases being dragged to the tribunals and later challenged in the court.

The companies also asked for the appointment of NHAI officials in states to liaison with the governments there. ''We have demanded liaison officers in states as project managers currently deputed there spend almost 80 per cent of their time in coordinating with state governments on land acquisition and logistics. Instead their sole responsibility should be to monitor the progress of the project,'' a senior official of a company who was present during the meeting told Financial Express.

The government had decided to restructure NHAI in 2007, but so far no action has been taken on this.

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Road developers seek urgent revamp of NHAI