The Cabinet Committee on Investment was informed that some of the bottlenecks identified by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) for the fast-track implementation of National Highways Development Project (NHDP) have now been removed as a result of the efforts made by the ministry.
Other unresolved issues fall in the domain of other ministries. A high level committee under the chairmanship of Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan, Member, Planning Commission has been constituted to suggest an amicable solution to these unresolved issues.
The following bottlenecks or constraints have been resolved:
i. Special Exemption or No Objection Certificate under Forest Rights Act, 2006 has been granted for strengthening and widening of national highways projects specifically pertaining to diversion of protected forest land under the Forest Conservation Act, 1980.
ii. De-linking the grant of environment clearance from forest clearance for linear projects.
iii. Treating the strengthening and widening of national highways infrastructure projects differently from the new projects and allowing construction of national highways in non-forest areas in widening projects, as expenditure does not become infructuous in such projects.
iv. Ceiling of 4,000 km of four laning in NHDP Phase-IV enhanced to 8,000 km, on Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) (Toll) mode only, based on the traffic justification according to the Indian Road Congress (IRC) code and guidelines.
v. The waterfall mechanism recommended by the BK Chaturvedi Committee for determining the execution mode of the road projects that is BOT (Toll) followed by BOT (Annuity) and then Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) to be delegated to the ministry to decide in cases where the Passenger Car Unit (PCU) falls between 5,000 and 10,000.
vi. 4,000 km of road projects permitted to be taken up for upgradation on EPC basis in the year 2012-13.
vii. In case of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects, the debts due to the lenders will be considered as “secured” loan.