The National Highways Authority of India's ambitious golden quadrilateral (GQ) project that is now delayed by more than a year is likely to be completed 'soon', the authority's chairman and managing director, JS Maini told the
"The work has slowed down, but I would want these patches to be completed tomorrow. We are through with 96 per cent of the project and would like to see the project come through soon," Maini added.
The GQ links Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.
"About 245 kilometres in different sections of the 5,846 km-long project is yet to be completed. The delays are primarily due to non-performance of contractors, re-awarding of terminated contracts and other procedural delays," Maini said. He has sought a progress report about the areas where work is yet to be completed.
The patches where work is held up are in Orissa, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh, leading to delays in completion of the GQ project, Maini said.
Cost over-runs due to delays would be known after the GQ is completed.
Toll collections on the GQ highways has been on track, Maini said.
"The entire golden quadrilateral is on the Build-Operate-Transfer model and I expect the operators would break even on their investments in the next 15 years given the enormous growth in road transportation in the country," Maini said.
Meanwhile sources in NHAI said the 7,300 km long North-South (NS) and the East-West (EW) corridor, another ambitious project undertaken by the NHAI is also in different stages of completion.
Contracts have been awarded for the project.
The NS corridor will extend from Srinagar to Kanyakumari while the EW corridor will be from Porbandar in Gujarat to Silchar in Assam.
According to NHAI's status report, till August 31 only 1,481 km of the NS&EW project has been completed. The rest is under implementation.
The detailed project report of the NS corridor has been prepared. Since the NS corridor, especially in Jammu and Kashmir, involves a huge amount of tunneling and specialised jobs, the project could also be delayed, government sources said.