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Gadkari ‘bypassed’ highway authority, writes NHAI chief

This decision was also taken without the concurrence of NHAI chairman R P SIngh, who has written to Minister Gadkari over this alleged bypassing of the highway authority on finalisation of the dispute-resolution mechanism for stalled projects.

Gadkari’s reported decision to rely on the arbitration route to decide on the fate of such projects may cost the exchequer.

RP Singh told a news agency that he had written a letter to the minister “sometime back” but refused to go into its contents.

“I cannot discuss it with you,” he said. When contacted, Road Secretary Vijay Chibber also declined to comment.

In a meeting presided over by Gadkari last month, a decision was taken to clear stalled highway projects through arbitration allegedly bypassing the NHAI chairman.

The minister is believed to be of the opinion that there was a pressing need to fast track decision-making in the infrastructure sector as delay in projects’ execution causes financial losses.

Meanwhile, Planning Minister Rao Inderjit Singh on Thursday informed Parliament that as many as 295 infrastructure sector projects worth Rs 150 crore or more are delayed with total cost overrun of Rs 1,01,436 crore.

Out of 720 central sector infrastructure sector projects costing Rs 150 crore and above, 295 projects were delayed, the 346 Flash Report of August 2014 released by the Ministry of Statistics.

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