As many as 725 road projects of the total 1,801 ongoing projects are running behind the schedule across the country as of February 2023 due to protracted monsoon in many states and above-average rainfall in some states, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said on Wednesday.
The Road Transport and Highways Minister in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha said additional cost is not incurred in all delayed projects as in Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) projects, as escalation cost is absorbed by the Concessionaire. For other projects, if the delay is attributable to the Project Authority, price escalation is paid as per contract conditions, which may or may not result in additional cost, depending upon the final value of price escalation determined on the actual completion of the project and final settlement of bills, he added.
Replying to a separate question, Mr Gadkari said the National Highways Authority of India has planted 344.27 lakh trees from 2016 to February 2023 under the green highways policy.
The ministry of road, transport and highways brought into effect the Green Highways (Plantation, Transplantation, Beautification & Maintenance) Policy – 2015 for the development of green corridors along national highways in the country.
Replying to another question, Gadkari said the Government of India and the World Bank have signed an agreement for the construction of Green National Highway Corridors Project (GNHCP) in an aggregate length of 781 km in the states of Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh, with loan assistance of USD 500 million against total project cost of USD 1,288.24 million (Rs 7,662.47 crore).
The objective of the Green National Highway Corridors Project is to demonstrate safe and green highway keeping in view climate resilience and use of green technologies by incorporating the provisions of conservation of natural resources using cement treated sub base/reclaimed asphalt pavement, use of local/ marginal material such as lime, fly ash, waste plastic, bio-engineering measures for slope protection such as hydroseeding.
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