New Delhi: The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has acquired guidelines that the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) must stop building avenue tasks and has sought a response on the matter from the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways headed by Nitin Gadkari.
The PMO is peeved approximately avenue infrastructure having ended up “financially unviable” and is involved over “unplanned and immoderate expansion” of roads declared as ‘national highways in principle’.
It additionally needs the road ministry to examine whether the NHAI need to as an alternative turn out to be an avenue asset control corporation.
The tips that the PMO has obtained approximately the road area have been flagged through Nripendra Misra, Principal Secretary to PM Narendra Modi, in a letter to Highways Secretary Sanjeev Ranjan, dated 17 August. Misra’s letter, accessed by way of ThePrint, did not specify where the suggestions came from.
“Road infrastructure has ended up financially unviable, non-public traders and creation companies taking flight from greenfield street projects. Model hybrid annuity and EPC (wherein the government price range a hundred consistent with cent of the project value) mode, with all funding made by the government, is unsustainable. Reform needed,” Misra’s letter states.


The letter additionally directs the highways secretary to examine the tips from the point of view of adoption/feasibility, and ship his response through 23 August. Ranjan could not be contacted notwithstanding repeated attempts, and ThePrint couldn’t independently affirm if he has spoken back to the PMO.
Fund crunch
Misra’s letter comes close on the heels of the PMO putting on maintain all ‘in-principle approvals’ given to country roads that were to be declared as national highways.
ThePrint had pronounced on 20 August that following a evaluate assembly taken by means of Misra, a high-level inter-ministerial panel headed through Cabinet Secretary P.K. Sinha has been fashioned to vet a brand new set of complete pointers before a kingdom street is asserted a countrywide highway.
The PMO had stepped in because it became alarmed at the unplanned growth and the effect on the exchequer at a time while the ministry is going through fund constraints.
The NHAI’s debt, as on March 2019, stands at Rs 1.78 lakh crore.
The troubles of the arena were further compounded via the fact that private builders are not showing interest in bidding for dual carriageway initiatives.
Take, for instance, the bold Bharatmala Phase-I undertaking, underneath which 34,800 km of highways ought to be advanced. Until March 2019, 255 projects with an anticipated price of Rs 10,000 crore were provided. Of these, just projects were provided on the general public-personal-partnership model.
Other guidelines
Another proposal the PMO has received is to prepare countrywide toll road grid blueprints and sanction it for all roads that really want to be taken up as countrywide highways till 2030.
The PMO additionally wishes the road ministry to take a look at the suggestion that the NHAI needs to re-look the commercial orientation of tasks.
“For each financially unsustainable task to take an aware decision thereafter on the way to meet the distance, if an assignment is to be taken up. Viability hole funding by means of the authorities for these initiatives, if considered, ought to be completed prematurely,” Misra’s letter states.
There is likewise a name for aggressive monetization of NHAI assets through auctioning completed motorway initiatives to personal players for operation and upkeep.

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