Out-of-court settlement of disputes is being pursued by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to fast-track highway construction. Developers have made claims of Rs 10,000 crore in several build-operate-transfer projects. Many of these cases have gone to arbitration, locking up funds for developers already squeezed by a drought of bank finance, delayed clearances and overall economic gloom.
The Union Road Transport Ministry and Highways has asked the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to expedite the process of resolving disputes with highway developers by the independent committee set up under the Authority to review individual cases and send its recommendations to the NHAI board. Since its inception earlier this year, the committee has taken up seven cases of pending claims but is yet to resolve any of them, said ministry officials.