167 Bids For Eastern E-way Hints At Revamp Of Sectors – The Economic Times – 20-Dec-2014

December 26, 2014 - Uncategorized

The National Highways Authority of India has received 167 bids for the proposed Rs 4,500-crore eastern peripheral expressway, in what could be a sign of revival of private sector interest in road projects. The proposed 135 km, six-lane expressway, which will connect Uttar Pradesh and Haryana bypassing the national capital, had no takers when bids were called in 2013 for it to be taken up on build-operate-transfer mode.

However, this time round NHAI is funding it in the engineering, procurement and construction ( EPC) mode. According to senior officials, the project has now drawn interest from international as well as domestic companies.

The request for qualification was invited by NHAI in October and the last date for the receipt of bids was December 12.”This is a very good sign. The number of bids are high because the project size of each package has gone down, so smaller players can also bid,” said Vishwas Udgirkar, senior director, DeloitteIndia.The eastern peripheral expressway will not only provide connectivity between Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, but will also decongest the roads in Delhi.The road ministry, in order to complete this big-ticket project, had divided it into six packages. With the NHAI funding it, the developer will only need to undertake construction work.The project had received Cabinet nod in July 2013 but could not take off due to lack of private sector interest and viability gap funding requirements.

Besides the Eastern Peripheral Expressway, the government has received several bids for four other highway projects.Development of the national highway projects was stuck due to lack of environmental clearances, non-availability of land and funding constraints. In the last few months, the Narendra Modi government has taken steps for fast-tracking environmental nod, delinking forest and environment clearances, increasing limits on sand mining and enabling online filing for clearances to construct rail over bridges and under bridges. In a recent study, Credit Rating Information Service of India (Crisil) said it now takes only seven months to achieve the appointed date -when concession period starts—compared with 10-12 months earlier. The report added of the 16 projects awarded in 2013-14, work has already begun on 12, which is 75% of the total projects.

 

The Economic Times

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