NHAI to decide fate of 20 road projects on November 7
The projects of companies such as L&T and Hindustan Construction Company were terminated as the concessionaires’ defaulted on their contractual agreements like failing to meet the physical milestones for completion.india Updated: Nov 04, 2017 07:25 IST
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will decide on November 7 on whether developers of 20 road projects, whose contracts were terminated since April 2014, should be debarred from bidding for future highway projects.
Senior NHAI officials said the projects were terminated as the concessionaires’ defaulted on their contractual agreements like failing to meet the physical milestones for completion. These companies included Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and Hindustan Construction Company (HCC), whose projects were terminated in March 2016 and March 2017. These companies were given time till November 6 to make their representation on the termination notice issued by NHAI.
The NHAI had uploaded the list of 20 projects on October 30, 2017 on its website. However, following representation from the National Highways Developers Federation (NHBF), an apex organisation of all contractors/ builders of national and state highways in the organised sector, NHAI on Friday withdrew the list.
“The list put up has projects that have been terminated in the past. According to the procedures, all the defaulters are given a chance for hearing before going ahead with termination. NHAI will consider the representations sent by these companies in its executive board meeting on November 7, following which a decision will be taken if they will be debarred from tendering in future highway projects,” NHAI chairman Deepak Kumar told HT.
However, some of the companies including L&T and HCC have already challenged NHAI’s decision. “L&T IDPL, a subsidiary of L&T, terminated a concession agreement for the 60 km stretch of Pimpalgaon Nashik Gonde Project due to ‘force majeure’ events arising from law and order issues as per provisions of the agreement, after completing the project,” a statement issued by L&T group said.
The statement added, “In our opinion the termination cannot be treated as a concessionaire event of default. The matter is sub-judice as it is under arbitration / conciliation. As per NHAI directions, the matter has been represented and a decision is awaited from them shortly.”
Meanwhile, a HCC spokesperson said, “The HCC BOT project (build-operate-transport) concerned, namely Raiganj Dalkhola Highways Ltd., has been delayed for six years due to land acquisition delays on account of NHAI. We feel that the action by NHAI is premature, especially considering since the alleged termination is undergoing an adjudication or conciliation process.”
The NHBF of Friday made a representation to the PMO and NHAI chairman to withdraw the notice. “It amounts to public defamation of these companies, some of whom have raised disputes and referred the matter for arbitration,” said PC Grover, director general, NHBF.