Ministry steps in to resolve Kozhikode bypass expansion
By The Hindu 14-Jul-2019
The project was hanging fire after a Hyderabad-based company, which secured the ₹1,710-crore contract, failed to get bank guarantee for the project. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways had inked an agreement with Krishna Mohan Construction Private Limited (KMC) for ₹1,710 crore in August 2018. However, the company was unable to secure a bank guarantee of ₹85.50 crore.
Meeting with Minister
The fresh development comes following a meeting of MPs from Kerala with Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday. The work for the expansion of the bypass, stretching from Vengalam to Idimuzhikkal on National Highway 66, would begin shortly, the Minister said.
M.K. Raghavan, MP, said the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) had been given directives to accept the bank guarantee submitted by Inkel Company, which had partnered with KMC, so as to go ahead with the multi-crore project. Besides, the Ministry would hold a meeting of KMC representatives and NHAI officials to sort out any issues.
The expansion of the bypass, which was expected to solve the traffic problems at Malaparamba, Thondayad and Ramanattukara, should have begun by September. When the company failed to secure bank guarantee, several proposals such as forming a consortium and joint venture partnership were suggested to get the project to take off. The Ministry kept the proposals in abeyance in connection with the Lok Sabha polls. The project was said to be the largest of NHAI projects in terms of cost per km, said official sources.
Hybrid annuity mode
The expansion of the bypass is part of the National Highway Development Project Phase III that will be executed in the hybrid annuity mode. The government will share 40% of the cost to start the work while the remaining investment will have to be made by the contractor.
The work includes the construction of four major bridges, a minor bridge, seven flyovers, two vehicle underpasses, 17 pedestrian underpasses, 64 pipe culverts and 39 box culverts. About 130 hectares required for widening the bypass to 45 metres have already been acquired.
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