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NHAI Invites Bids for Improvement of Delhi-Ghaziabad Road, Infra News, ET Infra


NEW DELHI: Can the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) invite bids for a road project that’s not with it? The question has arisen after the NHAI floated a tender for one-time improvement of 14.4 km stretch of old GT Road from Lal Kuan in Ghaziabad (junction of Delhi-Meerut Expressway) to Gyani Border (Delhi/ UP Border). The stretch has not yet been entrusted to the highways authority and it has already spent funds in preparation of a detailed project report (DPR) for the work.

NHAI officials admitted that the stretch has not been entrusted to it. “No entrustment as of now… Bids will be received and opened only after necessary entrustment,” a senior official said. Though officials claimed that earlier the stretch was a national highway (NH) and called GT Road, the entire bid document nowhere mentions this corridor as an “NH” or has any NH number. As per the tender document, the NHAI will spend around Rs 371 crore for improvement of the road and the successful contractor will maintain the stretch for five years.

Sources said while improvement of this stretch is necessary considering heavy traffic flow and congestion, the NHAI can’t spend any government fund on it unless it’s tasked to take up the work and the stretch is notified as an NH by the Centre.

Barely two months back, the road transport ministry had written to the NHAI flagging how the agency had been bypassing norms and had taken up works and bid out widening of road stretches even before these are entrusted to it and notified. It has asked the NHAI to submit the list of all stretches where work had been awarded.

In a letter to the NHAI, the ministry had written, “Henceforth civil work agreement should be signed after declaration of the section as NHs and its entrustment to NHAI. The NHAI should take up the start of any new work only when it is part of any approved scheme or entrusted. Any new work shall be initiated only after the formal concurrence of the ministry is obtained.”

Officials told TOI that the norms must be followed considering that the budget has been allocated to the NHAI for certain specific works and the annual budget of some departments is less than the cost of this project.

  • Published On Jan 1, 2024 at 08:00 PM IST

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