8 foreign firms debarred

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The Government has debarred as many as 17 companies, including eight foreign firms, for bidding for future contracts of the National Highway Development Project after they were found out to be `non-performing' contractors.

In a written reply in the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Shipping, Road Transport and Highways K.H. Muniyappa said five contracts involving foreign companies have been terminated after a comprehensive review of the performance of the NHDP Phase I.

The performance of the contractors or supervision consultants including those of foreign MNCs, are periodically reviewed, he said.

However, the Minister said there have been delays in completion of the work due to law and order problems in land acquisition, shifting of utilities, delay in environmental and forest clearance and tardy performance by some contractors.

To deal with these problems the Government had taken steps such as appointing senior officers as nodal officers and constituting a committee of secretaries to address inter-ministerial and Central-State issues besides initiating action against defaulting contractors in order to ensure completion of national highways works as per schedule.