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Delhi HC asks NHAI to pay Rs 750 crore to West Haryana Highways Projects Private Limited

Venkatesh Ganesh Mumbai | Updated on January 12, 2020 Published on January 12, 2020

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WHHPPL had dragged NHAI to court stating that the regulator failed to adhere to the terms of concession agreement, which involved an obligation of handing over of land

The Delhi High Court has directed National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to pay Rs 750 crore to West Haryana Highways Projects Private Limited (WHHPPL).

WHHPPL was awarded a Concession Agreement (CA) by the NHAI on Design-Build-Finance-Operate-Transfer (DBFOT )Toll basis for widening of existing two lane highway and also constructions of two new bypass roads.

Although WHHPPL substantially completed the work and the toll was operational in 2014, NHAI did not declare the completion of project. Further, WHHPPL suffered huge losses due to project overrun, its legal counsel argued. WHHPPL was represented by Singh & Associates. Further, on January 7, the Delhi HC asked NHAI to award this compensation to WHHPPL within a month.

WHHPPL had dragged NHAI to court stating that the regulator failed to adhere to the terms of concession agreement, which involved an obligation of handing over of land. “This is the first obligation in line for any construction of road,” said Manoj K Singh, Founding Partner, Singh and Associates. Further, the highway project was supposed to finished within 2 years, all of which got delayed due to delays in getting utility clearances and making land available.

On its part, NHAI countered that the road developer was to protect the land from being “encroached” by policing it and that the developer did not do enough to put “good quality” railway facilities back in place even after completing the project. Also, the developer had shifted the railway equipment while constructing the project, it argued.

According to NHAI data till March 2018, projects amounting to Rs 1.2 lakh crore were in the works, spread across 426 projects. The highway builders had gone for arbitration in 740 of them, seeking claims of Rs 1.07 lakh crore. NHAI also made counter-claims of Rs 37,200 crores on road builders for their failures.

Recently, Bangalore Elevated Tollway Private Ltd (BETPL) was awarded Rs 492 crore, towards a claim filed against NHAI for delay in project execution. Similarly, Reliance Infrastructure won an arbitration award of Rs. 1,250 crore against Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC), a Government of India undertaking.

Published on January 12, 2020
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