SA’s Intertoll barred from NH projects

March 27, 2008

NEW DELHI: After Chinese, Malaysian and Korean firms, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has blacklisted South Africa’s infrastructure firm Intertoll for undertaking road sector projects in the country. Intertoll-led joint venture Intertoll-ICS-Cessons O&M, which had bagged the contract to operate and manage Gurgaon-Jaipur stretch (206 km), has been barred from carrying out any highway project in the country for the next 10 years. “The company has failed to comply with the obligation. It was also found that there was leakage in toll collection. After shooting off showcause notices five times to the firm we have now barred them for the next 10 years for undertaking any project directly or indirectly,” a government official told ET. Last year, the government had put nine firms including Lanco Construction and Essar group in the non-performers’ list. Foreign contractors in the list included Korea’s You-One Engineering Construction, Saudi Arabia’s Sticco, China Coal Construction Group Corporation and Moscow-based Centrodostroy. Four Malaysian companies — UEM Builders, Dolomite Industries, Pati SDN Bhd, and Bhumihighway — were also in the list of non-performers. All highway contractors were blacklisted on account of delay in completing highway projects and poor performance. The dispute between joint venture partners also lead to delay in the projects.“Before we bar any contract we give multiple chances to perform. In case of Intertoll we gave them three years’ time to comply with the contractual obligation,” the official said. Intertoll got the Rs 169-crore contract through competitive bidding to operate, manage and collect toll on the Gurgaon-Jaipur highway for eight years. Foreign infrastructure companies are, however, betting big on the country’s road sector. Recently, these firms won three highway projects out of five offered by NHAI under national highways development project (NHDP)-V. All the three companies — Emirate Trading Agency, Isolux Corsan Group and IJM Corp — which bagged various projects roped in an Indian firm. Source: 

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