Photo: www.nhai.org
R.P. Singh

Keen to ensure that National Highways Authority of India does not remain headless after the tenure of its current Chairman R.P. Singh ends in May this year, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has initiated the process to select a new chief for leading the apex highway development and maintenance agency.

Singh, a retired IAS officer of 1976 batch Andhra Pradesh cadre, was appointed as Chairman of NHAI in June 2012 by the previous UPA government for a period of three years or till the age of 65 years, whichever came earlier. Prior to his appointment, the post of chairman had been lying vacant for nearly two years.

After the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance came to power at the Centre in May last year, differences cropped up between Singh and MoRTH over various issues. His performance as chairman was also questioned. However, a source closely associated with the highway sector disagreed that Singh had faltered in his role as chairman of NHAI.

“He ushered in many improvements in the sector. He is efficient and accessible, but at the same time, a stickler for rules. The performance of the highway sector is largely dependent on support from the Centre as well as states, especially with regard to policy issues,” the source told Projectmonitor.

As per the eligibility criteria laid down for the post of Chairman of NHAI, a person presently holding or who in the past had held on regular basis the post of Secretary or Additional Secretary to the central government for at least two years will be considered qualified and eligible. Similarly, a person who is presently holding or in the past had held the post of full-time director in board of Schedule ‘A’ central public sector undertakings notified by the Department of Public Sector Enterprises and engaged primarily in infrastructure including infrastructure finance can apply for the post. A person who is or has been the CEO or director in an infrastructure or infrastructure finance entity with net worth of not less than Rs.2,000 crore will also be considered for the post provided there is a cooling off period of two years following resignation from the job in the entity having dealings with NHAI. In addition, all candidates need to have professional knowledge and experience of dealing with infrastructure and infrastructure finance.

The appointment for the post of Chairman of NHAI will be for a period of three years with provision for re-appointment for a further term of two years. The age limit for holding the office of chairman has been fixed at 65 years.

The last date for applying is February 28, 2015.

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