New Delhi: National Highways Authority of India has drawn flak from the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) for potential loss of Rs 874 crore on account of delays in completion of projects for connecting major ports through highways.
The authority also incurred a revenue loss of over 127 crore on account of delay in setting up SPVs, it said.
While five of the Rs 3,157 crore projects are yet to be completed, four saw delays of up to 53 months, the CAG said in its report tabled in Parliament on Tuesday.
"Due to ineffective toll collection operations of SPVs, toll collection was either delayed or suspended and SPVs sustained revenue loss of Rs 127.68 crore. Potential loss of toll revenue, due to delay in completion of PRC projects, worked out to Rs 873.85 crore," the government auditor said.
The government in 2000 had approved these nine projects worth Rs 3,157 crore at JNPT, Mumbai, Cochin, Paradip, Mormugao, Calcutta-Haldia, New Mangalore, Chennai-Ennore and Tuticorin.
This was to provide four-lane connectivity to the major ports in the country on build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis through special purpose vehicles (SPVs).
However, the CAG said none of the projects was completed within the scheduled date despite the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) directing NHAI to award project road connectivity (PRC) schemes by March 2002.
"These projects were expected to be completed within a period of 2-3 years of award of contract. NHAI/SPVs however, did not prepare corporate/strategic plan for timely implementation of these," it added.
Of the completed projects that included construction highways stretches at Mumbai-JNPT, Cochin and Paradip, it said the delays ranged from 12 months to 53 months while remaining projects are yet to be completed.
Some road stretches could not be upgraded due to non-incorporation of these stretches in detailed project reports, it said.
CAG also observed poor planning, non-exploration of sources for adequate funding for the projects, delays in formation of SPVs and deficiencies in preparation of detailed project reports.
It said the matter was reported to the Road Transport and Highways Ministry but it did not provide the report by May.


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