The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) today approved the extension of the date of completion of the project by two years beyond 31st December, 2012 to 31st December, 2014.
The National Automotive Testing and R&D Infrastructure Project (NATRiP) was approved by the CCEA on 25th July, 2005 with a total investment of Rs.1718 crore, for upgradation of three existing centres viz. Vehicle Research and Development Establishment viz. VRDE at Ahmednagar, Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) at Pune and International Centre for Automotive Technology (ICAT) at Manesar and for setting up of four Greenfield centres at Chennai, Indore, Silchar and Rae Bareily for automotive testing, homologation and R&D. The project aims at putting in place automative testing infrastructure that will meet safety and emission regulation requirements till 2015 and also deepen India™s automotive R&D capabilities.
NATRiP faced hurdles in the initial stages on account of delays in acquisition of land at various sites, delays in clearances, shifting of utilities, contractual complications etc. These factors have already led to escalation of the project cost and extension of the scheduled completion date. The CCEA, on 31st July, 2011 had approved the revised cost of 2,288 crore and 21st December, 2012 as the completion date of the project.
The completion date of 31st December, 2012 was arrived at on the assumption that adequate funding and availability of required land will be ensured as envisaged. However, despite best efforts, the project implementation continues to be hampered by a number of problems.