Delay in supply of raw material is likely to result in a prestigious highway project missing its June 30 deadline. No new deadline has been fixed for the much delayed four-laning of the busy Jalandhar-Pathankot National Highway-1(A) which might further witness an increase of around 10 per cent in costs. The project has already witnessed a 30 per cent increase in cost due to numerous delays. The original date for completion was May 2008.
The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) had fixed the June 30 deadline after revising it several times over the past five years,But with no new deadline now the focus will only have to be on completing it as soon as possible,according to NHAI sources.
Currently,work is pending on three bridges between Tanda and Pathankot. The sources said they they have not been getting the raw material on time for the three pending bridges leading to the delay in construction work.
The cost of the 105 km long four-laning project has already touched the Rs 750 crore mark as against the original projected cost of Rs 576 crore.
NH-1(A) is the main highway used by pilgrims to Vaishno Devi and Amarnath. Lakhs of devotees visit these shrines every year leading to over-crowding of this highway. The delay in the project will only add to the woes of the travellers.
The NHAI has delayed the project by refusing to pay the proposed collector rates to land owners in some villages between Bhogpur and Mukerian which has resulted in land owners filing a case. Secondly,many contractors hired by the NHAI left the project midway owing to high inflation rates, said another source in NHAI adding that if they (NHAI) had paid the money to the farmers as per the collector rates then they would have avoided the delay in construction and the resultant increase in the project cost.
The project director,Vipnesh Sharma,said that he is making all efforts to complete it as soon as possible,hopefully within a couple of months,as they could not meet earlier deadlines due to delay in supply of raw material.