Undue financial benefits to the tune of Rs 130 crore were extended by NHAI to developers of three highway stretches in Bihar and Jharkhand, official auditor CAG today said. The benefits were extended with regard to Mokama-Munger section of NH 80 in Bihar and Hazaribag-Ranchi section of NH 33 in Jharkhand besides construction of a four-lane bridge on river Kosi on NH 57. “National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) paid undue financial benefits to the concessionaire of Rs 51.03 crore,” CAG said regarding Mokama-Munger Highway stretch in its report tabled in Parliament today. NHAI and developer M/s Mokama-Munger Highway Ltd had signed an agreement in 2010 for construction of two-lane road on the stretch for a length of 68.58 km including construction of a 8.1 km bypass and two rail bridges. The undue financial benefit to the developer were extended in the form of “early completion bonus of Rs 21.83 crore in violation of the concession agreement and Rs 29.20 crore being part of annuity that was not payble due to reduction in scope of work,” the government watchdog said. The project was scheduled for completion in 730 days. Likewise the CAG said NHAI extended Rs 47.05 crore undue benefit to the developer of Hazaribag-Ranchi Expressway Ltd relating to 4-laning project between 71.16 km stretch of Hazaribag-Ranchi section of NH 33 in Jharkhand. “Payment of Rs 47.05 crore to the concessionaire as bonus for early completion was irregular and amounted to giving undue financial benefits to the concessionaire,” CAG said. It also said NHAI paid undue financial benefits of Rs 31.90 crore to the Kosi Bridge Infrastructure company for construction of four-lane bridge across river Kosi on NH 57 in Bihar. “NHAI paid undue financial benefits of Rs 31.90 crore to the concessionaire due to deficiencies in the issue of provisional completion certificate with effect from February 8, 2012 without completion of tests prescribed for safe and reliable commercial operation,” the CAG said.
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