Under Atmanirbhar Bharat program Government is carrying out reviews of National Highway works, at different levels.
The Government is regularly carrying out reviews of National Highway works, at different levels, in various States including Odisha. Detailed reviews have been held in the recent past with project implementing agencies, project developers, contractors / concessionaires, State Governments and other Central
Ministries/Departments, in various States including Odisha, which lead to resolution of many project related issues concerning land acquisition, forest clearance, utility shifting, contractor performance, etc. inter-alia leading to better progress in construction.
The construction works on National Highways got delayed to some extent due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the loss of time was estimated to be generally in the range of 3-9 months depending upon the project parameters. Delay in projects sometimes leads to cost escalation. In BOT projects, escalation cost is absorbed by the Concessionaire. In other projects, price escalation is payable as per contract conditions, and the actual amount of price escalation and inter-alia the actual increase in project cost, if any, is known only on actual completion of the project and final settlement of bills.
The Government has taken several steps under Atmanirbhar Bharat like, granting time extensions for 3 to 9 months, relaxation in contract provisions for ensuring cash flow, direct payment to sub-contractors and release of retention/security money to augment cash flow, waiver of penalty in case of delay in submission of Performance Security (for new Contracts), to expedite the construction work to achieve the target. This information was given by Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.