September 14, 2021 8:35:55 pm
The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) recently told the Bombay High Court that the final completion of widening work on the Mumbai-Goa National Highway is possible by March 2022, if more than Rs 200 crore additional amount is arranged by the lenders of the project, including SBI, at the earliest.
The authority further conceded that while the project highway was in ‘motorable condition’ before the ongoing monsoon season, due to heavy rainfall and heavy vehicular traffic, some ‘potholes, patches and water stagnation’ developed in certain sections.
The NHAI filed an affidavit before a division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish S Kulkarni, which has been hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Owais Anwar Pechkar, a resident of Chiplun city in Konkan and a regular commuter on the highway. He has sought directions that steps be taken to fix and cover potholes on National Highway-66, which is prone to accidents.
The NHAI filed an affidavit in the last week of August through its General Manager and Project Director Prashant J Fegade, stating, “…the concessionaire and lenders of the project have to arrange for the balance amount of about Rs 267 crore over and above the amount disbursed under OTFIS facility for completion of the project…However, the assured funding has not been infused by the lenders till date.”
The authority said that provisional completion (75 per cent of the project length) is likely to be granted by November 30, subject to availability of working season and funds to be made available by lenders.
The High Court is likely to hear the PIL next week.
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