In a written reply to the Lok Sabha in the currently underway Monsoon Session, Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways said that the Ministry has constructed 13,327 km of National Highways in FY2021, which works out to about 37 kms per day despite challenges. The Ministry also took initiatives to provide relief including extension of time by 3-9 months to mitigate the impact of Covid-19.
According to the Minister, challenges due to lockdowns and restrictions to contain spread of Covid-19 impacted movement and supply/availability of materials, machinery and labour and adversely affected the progress of works, leading to loss of working period.
The loss of time was estimated to be in the range of 3-9 months depending upon the project parameters. To mitigate this pandemic effect, Ministry took initiatives under Atmanirbhar Bharat and provided several Covid-19 relief measures to contractors, concessionaires, consultants, including extension of time.
Gadkari added that the cost of ongoing projects may increase due to local/project specific factors or other factors including price escalation during the project time cycle, “In BOT projects, the escalation cost is absorbed by the Concessionaire. In other projects, price escalation is payable as per contract conditions.”
He further clarified that the Government is in regular coordination with project implementing agencies, project developers, State Governments and contractors / concessionaires to resolve the issues with regards to project delays and some of the stalled construction and complete the projects.