House panel pulls up govt on road project

House panel pulls up govt on road project

New Delhi: A parliamentary committee looking into the findings of the Comptroller and Auditor General audit of the Delhi Gurgaon Expressway has pulled up the government on several counts including deficient initial project reports and improper fixation of concession periods among others.

The CAG’s audit, which was released last year, had raised many concerns including a 42-month delay in completion as well as the fixxation of a longer concession period. The CAG contended that 14 years would have been a reasonable concession period as opposed to the 20 years fixed by the National Highway Authority of India, or NHAI.

The committee expressed it’s reservations over the manner in which completion certificate was issued by the independent auditor for the project, without completing works on the project. The committee suggested that the NHAI, which administers the National Highway Development Programme, should revisit the issue and take action.

The committee also suggested that appointing independent auditors be made mandatory for all highway projects. It also expressed concern over "the scant regard given to human life and strongly deprecate the the NHAI in completely ignoring the safety of pedestrians in designing the expressway ingnoring the local needs of the people living on both sides of the highway."