15 NHAI officials tender resign over differences
As many as 15 senior technical officials of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and the NHAI are believed to have tendered their resignations enmasse over differences with Planning Commission Adviser Gajendra Haldea.
Confirming the development, a senior Road Ministry official said the resignations were tendered after "heated arguments between the technical officials and Haldea over the issue of new model of EPC (Engineering Procurement and Construction) for highway contracts".
Haldea is Adviser to Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia on Infrastructure. No immediate comments could be obtained from Haldea.
Sources said Haldea’s suggestions on EPC were seen by the officials as beneficial to only a few companies and would have led to unfair competition in the highways sector.
The ministry official said 15 officials submitted their resignations to Road Secretary A K Upadhayay after arguments with Haldea in the presence of Road Minister C P Joshi.
The minister immediately convened an emergency meeting of senior ministry officials over the issue at this residence yesterday. Sources said those who have tendered their resignations include two NHAI officials, V L Patankar, Member (Technical) B N Singh, Member (Projects). Director General (Roads) R P Indoria also put in his papers, they added. Patnakar and Singh did not respond to repeated calls. Indoria when contacted merely said, "I have no idea about the development."