New Delhi: Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said on Thursday that the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) incurred an estimated revenue loss of Rs 3,512.62 crore in FY'2020-21 due to COVID-related restrictions. "An estimated amount of Rs 3,512.62 crore in Financial Year (FY) 2020-21 is the approximate loss of revenue in fee collection at fee plazas of National Highways Authority of India due to the restrictions of COVID-19," Gadkari said in a written reply to Lok Sabha.
"The approximate user fee collections in FY 2019-20 and 2020-21 stood at Rs 27,682.89 crore and Rs 28,548.05 crore, respectively," he added.
The Minister said that due to sustained protest by farmers in the states of Punjab, Haryana, and Rajasthan, 58 fee plazas were not operational from 12 days to a maximum of 182 days in the last financial year, resulting in an estimated loss of Rs 814.13 crore.
"Sporadic incidents of protest were observed at few plazas such as Thrivallam fee plaza in the state of Kerala and Padmanavpur & Sukhupada fee plazas in the state of Odisha," Gadkari said.
Improving transparency and efficiency in NHAI toll collection
In order to improve transparency and efficiency in fee collection, Gadkari said the government has declared all lanes of fee plazas on National Highways as FASTag lanes. Replying to another question, he said that last fiscal, 5,381 kilometers of state roads were declared as new national highways in the country.
Based on the proposals received from state governments/ Union Territories (UTs), the ministry has approved about Rs 1,03,700 crore in FY 2021-22, for sanction of projects for the development of national highways entrusted with state governments/UTs, as part of the National Infrastructure Pipeline.
NHAI MoU with EESL for greener NHAI
Replying to a separate question, he said the ministry has decided to explore solar energy generation potential on national highways and to install solar panels in available places that are not earmarked to be used for any transport/highway-related services/ plantation.
NHAI has signed an MoU with Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) to conduct feasibility studies for solar power projects on the available vacant land parcels with NHAI and rooftops of NHAI buildings/ structures at the toll plaza and other NHAI-owned buildings/ structures.
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