Bidding Process For Highway Projects To Begin On Monday

New Delhi, Sept 24: | Updated: Sep 25 2003, 05:30am hrs
The government on Wednesday announced commencement of bidding process for upgrading 10,000 km of national highways in addition to the National Highways Development Project (NHDP).

The ministry of road transport and highways would commence the sale of bid documents for seven projects worth Rs 2500 crore on Monday. These projects cover 622 km in five states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. The sale of documents would be followed by a pre-bid conference on October 27.

Announcing this at a press conference, road transport and highways minister BC Khanduri said, in all, work on 1,500 km would begin during the current financial year.

He said 98 companies have been short listed for empanelment to take up the projects on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis. The companies would be required to submit bids by November 27.

The ministry has also drawn a list of 16 sections connecting state capitals to NHDP. These sections comprising 2,768 km would also be taken up for upgradation and four laning.

On the schedule of ongoing NHDP, the minister said four/six laning of 5,846 km Golden Quadrilateral project would be almost over by 2005. About 45 per cent of the project covering 2,650 km would be ready by the year-end, he said, adding that almost 96 per cent construction work would be over by June 2005.

The biggest challenge that we are facing is land acquisition, he said while giving reasons for delay in completion of the project. The scenario relating to land acquisition is particularly bad in states like Tamil Nadu where 85 per cent of land remained to be acquired.

The other problem being faced by the National Highways Authority of India is of law and order. Besides, excessive rains this year has slowed down progress especially in the last two months, he said.

Work on the North-South East-West corridors would commence from the four corners of Kashmir, Kanyakumari, Silchar and Saurashtra before the end of the current fiscal.

A total of 3,500 km of North-South and East-West highway corridor is under various stages of completion, while 537 km of this 7,300 km national highway project is already in use.

He also said the World Bank clearance for funds needed for the 87-km long Allahabad bypass project was received on Tuesday and the contract was expected to be awarded by October-end.