In a rare instance of plainspeak by a banker, IDBI Bank, the lead lender of the Rs 2,000-crore western peripheral expressway, has blamed the developer's lack of commitment for the project being delayed by over four years with no completion in sight. The developer has strongly refuted charges of lack of commitment on its part.
IDBI Bank, which is helping finance the 135-km Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) expressway and has so far disbursed Rs 1,090 crore for the project, holds the concessionaire's low commitment level and poor financial health responsible for the delay. The bank's views were recorded at a recent review meeting of all stalled projects held by P Chidambaram.
Construction on the expressway began in 2007 with a deadline of 2009. Four years later, the developer - DS Constructions - is still struggling to wrap up the project that is now only 70 per cent complete.
The expressway is meant to create an alternate route for heavy trucks passing through Delhi to other destinations in the North. Disagreeing with the bank's assessment, DS Constructions has argued that the delays are because of external factors including litigation, land acquisition issues and changes in the scope of work.