The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has incurred an estimated revenue loss of Rs 3,512.62 crore in financial year 2020-21, due to COVID-19-related restrictions, Parliament was informed on Thursday. Replying to a question in Lok Sabha, the Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said 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.
"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 restrictions of COVID-19," Gadkari said. He said due to sustained protest by farmers in the states of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, 58 fee plazas were not operational for 12 days to a maximum of 182 days in FY 2020-21, 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," the minister said. 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 a separate question, the minister said in 2020-21, 5,381 km of state roads were declared as new National Highways in the country. Replying to another question, Gadkari said, 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 development of National Highways entrusted with state governments/UTs, as part of the National Infrastructure Pipeline, to be implemented in the next 2-3 years.