Timsy Jaipuria | New Delhi
After a gap of over a year, the government is set to award a highway project in the build, operate and transfer (BOT) category in what marks its effort to revive the public-private partnership (PPP) model in the sector. According to sources, the first PPP project of this fiscal in highways will soon be awarded to Mumbai-based IRB Infrastructure Developers for widening a 98.72-km stretch between Solapur and Yedeshi in Maharashtra to four lanes.However, the project, estimated to cost R972 crore, would be supported by viability gap funding (VGF) of 19% by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). Many stranded PPP projects in the sector were awarded on promises of high premium payments to the authority. “Given the poor response to the BOT projects these days, IRB’s proposal appeared to be better than what the NHAI had expected,” said a senior government official, asking not to be named.
Inability to meet toll revenue targets had forced investors like GMR, GVK and Ashoka Buildcon to quit their PPP projects in the highways sector and caused delays in other projects. Termination of projects awarded on the promise of high premiums to NHAI by the most prominent investors has resulted in renegotiation of premiums worth R98,000 crore payable over 20-30 years. Policymakers have since shifted focus to the conventional engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) projects, and not one new PPP project has been awarded in the sector this fiscal.
The details of the premium recast will be as per the Rangarajan panel’s recommendations, which is expected soon.
The number of new PPP projects awarded in the sector peaked in 2011-12 at 6,491 km and has since come down to 1,116 km in 2012-13.
In September this year, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had given its approval for widening the Solapur-Yedshi section of National Highway 211 in Maharashtra under the National Highways Development Project (NHDP) Phase IV on a design, build, finance, operate and transfer pattern.
While no new PPP project has been awarded this fiscal, one project was re-awarded — six-laning of the 122.88-km Barwa-Adda-Panagarh section of NH2 to IL&FS Transportation Networks in May.
Both the road ministry and NHAI have attributed the sluggish investor interest in PPP projects to not only the economic slowdown and resultant difficulty in meeting toll collection targets but also several loopholes in the model concession agreement. Developers had been vocal about financial stress, non-availability of land and uncertainty over securing environmental clearances as among various reasons behind not showing interest in bidding. Similarly, the government had also decided not to launch any bid without having all statutory clearances in place. This, according to senior officials, was the reason behind the poor awarding scenario in the current fiscal.
After the Solapur-Yedshi stretch, the government is likely to bring out another bid for a four laning project in Rajasthan, which is at a nascent stage. If this project also takes off, it will be the second project awarded on PPP mode in the current fiscal.
NHAI has a modest target to award 125 km on BOT mode this fiscal, while the target for EPC projects is set at 1,875 km. The ministry has revised its target for total awards by all agencies from 9,000 km last year to 5,600 km this year, including the 2,000 km to be awarded by NHAI.
IRB undertakes development of various infrastructure projects in the road sector through several special purpose vehicles. The company, along with its subsidiaries, has constructed, operated and maintained around 8,000 lane km of road length so far. The aggregate size of all its BOT projects (completed and under execution) is around Rs. 17,055 crore.
By Express News Service – CHENNAI
The Madras High Court has directed the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to pay the compensation amount due to an octogenarian woman, whose land was acquired for widening road near Tambaram. Justice S Manikumar, who gave the direction, pointed out that the woman is now over 80 years old. The NHAI has not paid any money for the land taken over from her five years ago.
As right to property has been recognised by the Supreme Court as a human right and considering the age of Siriyapushpam, her legitimate right to seek compensation for the land acquired must be paid, the judge said. The judge hoped that the authorities would implement the directions of this court in letter and spirit within the stipulated time.
Siriyapushpam’s land measuring 165 sqm in Irumbuliyur near Tambaram was notified for acquisition by the NHAI in 2008 for widening, maintenance, management and operation of NH 45. As she was not given any compensation for more than five years, she filed the present petition.
NHAI’s counsel informed the bench that Rs 43 crore has been sanctioned. The TN government counsel told the court that the special district revenue officer (land acquisition) would determine the amount for disbursal to the persons concerned. He also requested the court to specify time limit for completion of the process. Justice Manikumar, stipulating that necessary compensation amount should be deposited not later than one month, said persons such as Siriyapushpam should receive their compensation as expeditiously as possible. He directed the government counsel to communicate the court’s order to the authorities for ‘prompt implementation’.
DEEPA H. RAMAKRISHNAN
NHAI to get permission for road to pass through elephant reserve
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is in the process of getting clearance from the National Board of Wildlife, for 8 km of the proposed Chennai-Bangalore Expressway.
The green field project road will pass through 7 km of the Royal Elephant Reserve in Andhra Pradesh, and about 300 metres of the Mahimandalam forest in Vellore district.
Officials at NHAI said that after having made changes in the alignment, they needed about 67 acres of land in the elephant reserve.
“Under the earlier alignment, the road cut across the forest in four locations but that has been brought down to just one location now,” explained an official.
The Union ministry of environment and forests (MOEF) had recently asked the NHAI to identify routes used by elephants so that underpasses could be built for vehicles. “The project consultant has already studied and suggested two underpasses. We have also requested the district forest officer, Chittoor, to look at our proposal,” the official said.
The MOEF had also asked the NHAI to explore the possibilities of utilisation of fly ash in embankment construction, to look at the possibility of cooled mix technology instead of the regular hot mix and for details of water bodies along the alignment of the project.
“These are all under preparation presently and we are likely to get MOEF clearance in a year’s time by when land acquisition is likely to be completed,” the official said.
The six-lane, access-controlled road will be 262 km long and require around 2,600 hectares of land. The expressway, which has been proposed under the National Highways Development Project, will pass through Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka and take the Kolar, Chittoor route.
On completion, it will be an alternative to the two existing roads to Bangalore – the one passing through Kolar and Chittoor and the Hosur, Krishnagiri and Walajapet route.
JAIPUR: Finally, after being at loggerheads for several months on various issues regarding widening of Jaipur-Gurgaon stretch of national highway (NH-8), the state government andNational Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has reached a consensus on two major impediments. NHAI received an estimate for the relocation of two high-tension power (HTP) lines on Wednesday, while the state government handed over the land at Sanjay Van to the authorities.
After dilly-dallying for 20 months, the Jaipur Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited (JVVNL) has given the total costing for the relocation of two HTP lines from Jaipur bypass. The JVVNL will roughly take two months for processing the tender and another two months for shifting it after which NHAI is expected to start construction in the patch.
NHAI is examining the estimate and clarification submitted by the electricity board and is likely to take final decision on it soon. The issue was pending with the Jaipur discom for past many months leading to a delay in widening the stretch. However, after a team of engineers went to Japan to study the technology for transfer of lines, the JVVNL has agreed to initiate the work.
In another major breakthrough, the state government provided land to the concessionaire for carrying out work at Sanjay Van. Earlier, the government was demanding construction of a boundary wall from the developer in lieu of handing over the forest land, which NHAI rejected. It maintained that a payment of Rs 1.15 crore has already been made to forest department as a part of compensation. After intervention from the officials of NHAI and state government, the issue was finally settled.
“Our efforts are on to remove all hindrances for all the national highway projects in the state including important linkage between Delhi-Jaipur. I am hopeful that most of the issues will be sorted out soon and inconvenience caused to commuters will be reduced to minimum possible extent,” said AK Mishra, chief general manager (technical-NHAI), Rajasthan.
Jaipur: After locking horns for several months on various issues in widening of Jaipur-Gurgaon stretch of national highway (NH -8), the state government and National Highway Authority of India reached a consensus on two major impediments. NHAI has received an estimate for the relocation of two high tension power (HTP) lines on Wednesday while state government has handed over the land at Sanjay Van to the authority.
After dillydallying for 20 months the Jaipur Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited has given the total costing for the relocation of two HTP line from Jaipur bypass. The JVVNL will roughly take two months for processing the tender and another two months for shifting it after which NHAI is expected to start construction in the patch.
NHAI is examining the estimate and clarification submitted by the electricity board and is likely to take final decision on it soon. The issue was pending with the Jaipur discom for the past many months leading to delay in widening of the stretch. However after a team of engineers went to Japan to study the technology for transfer of lines, the JVVNL has agreed to initiate the work.
In another major break through, the state government provided land to the concessionaire for carrying out work at Sanjay Van. Earlier, the government was demanding construction of a boundary wall from the developer in lieu of handing over the forest land, which NHAI rejected. It maintained that a payment of Rs. 1.15 cr has already been made to forest department as a part of compensation. After intervention from the officials of NHAI and state government issue was finally settled down.
“Our efforts are to remove all hindrances for all the national highway projects in the state including important linkage between Delhi-Jaipur. I am hopeful that most issues will be sorted out soon and inconvenience caused to commuters will be reduced to minimum possible extent” said AK Mishra, chief general manager (Tech), Rajasthan.
By Express News Service – ROURKELA
Faced with inordinate delay in land acquisition and rehabilitation of people to be displaced by upgradation of NH-143 and 520 running through Sundargarh, Keonjhar and Deogarh districts, the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has taken up the issue with respective Collectors to expedite the process.
Sources said NHAI regional officer LP Padhi, who wrapped up his two-day visit on Saturday, along with other NHAI officials, met Sundargarh Collector Bhupendra Singh Poonia and his Keonjhar counterpart BP Sahoo requesting them to expedite land acquisition process.
He also discussed various issues related to NHAI concessionaires.
An NHAI official said besides land acquisition, they are facing problems in getting permission for felling trees. Besides, the forest land diversion proposals are moving at a snail’s pace.
After a meeting at Rajgangpur, Sundargarh Collector said the land acquisition process is in compensation disbursement stage for NH-143 which is to be four-laned from Birmitrapur to Rajamunda. He assured of removing the hurdles for NH-520 passing through Koida and Lahunipara blocks of Bonai sub-division.
NHAI Manager (Technical) MM Sahu said the NH-143 stretch of around 88 kms from Birmitrapur to Rajamunda would be four-laned while the remaining stretch of around 37 kms from Rajamunda to Barkote in Deogarh district would be two-laned.
The Birmitrapur-Barkote Tollway Ltd, a subsidiary of NHAI concessionaire Gammon Infrastructure Ltd, would execute the project at an estimated cost of ` 778.6 crore and the project includes second Brahmani bridge at Rourkela, Sahu said. It would be completed on design, build, finance, operate and transfer (DBFOT) basis.
Regarding the NH-520 project, NHAI Manager (Technical) Debabrata Kundu said they have apprised Keonjhar Collector of delay in the project and he has assured of necessary support.
Kundu further said of 96 kms stretch from Rimuli to Rajamunda, running through Keonjhar and Sundargarh districts, around 84 kms would be four-laned and remaining 12 kms two-laned.
Conducts a safety audit; to repair 6 major bridges between Dehu Rd and Satara
After several lives were lost in highway accidents, the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has finally woken up to the risk factors for highway commuters. They are in the process of sending a safety audit report to New Delhi before starting repair works on six major bridges — from Dehu Road to Satara — which are unsafe for commuters and require urgent repairs.
The revelation comes in the wake of tragic death of four employees of an advertisement firm based in Pune early last month. The driver of the car missed the gap between the bridges on near Nira river and their car plunged into the river. The spot likes 70 km from Pune on Pune-Satara Road.
The PS Toll Roads, a subsidiary agency of Reliance Infra, had submitted a letter to NHAI on November 25. The letter stated that urgent repairs, including crash barriers and fencing were required at various places on the stretch. Taking note of the letter, NHAI swung into action and asked two other companies to carry out the safety audit report.
NHAI project director Rajesh Kaundal, said, “Following the report submitted by Reliance we asked RH Associates and a third party safety consultant to conduct a safety audit. They will submit a detailed report soon. Once we receive the data, we will send it to our head office in New Delhi.”
“Our safety consultants are also looking into the contract with Reliance and see what repairs works they should carry as per the tender. We have to get in principal approval for the work. Along with that we also need finance for the work. Once we get the final approval from our head office we will start the work,” Kaundal added.
The NHAI sent the report of the financial implication to their head office last week. They will be send a detailed report for the in principal approval by the end of next week. The authorities claimed that the groundwork will only start next year.
Press Trust of India | Chandigarh
Kaithal-Ambala national highway would be four-laned at a cost of Rs 728 crore, a state minister said today.
Expressing gratitude towards Prime Minister Manmohan Singhand UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi for approval of the project, Haryana Public Works (Buildings and Roads) Minister Randeep Singh Surjewala said that this 90-km-long national highway would especially benefit three districts of Ambala, Kaithal and Kurukshetra.
He said separate bypasses would be constructed for the towns of Kaithal, Pehowa and Ismailabad which were situated between Kaithal and Ambala.
With the approval of this project, the long-standing demand of the people of the area has been fulfilled, he said, in an official release here.
Surjewala said that for the development of Kaithal an 18-km-long separate bypass would be constructed.
Also, a corridor from Kotputli to Ambala at a cost of Rs 1300 crore would be setup which would open new business and employment opportunities for the residents of Kaithal, he added.
HYDERABAD: After the Volvo accident at Palem in Mahbubnagar district, fingers were pointed at the faulty road geometrics by various government agencies, including Crime Investigation Department (CID), during their preliminary enquiry.
However, to the shock of CID officials, National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) senior officials on Wednesday wrote a letter to additional director-general of police (CID) T.Krishna Prasad, asserting that the road design is ‘flawless’.
Credible sources in the CID told TOI that, in a written reply to it, the NHAI asserted this point.
The CID sought NHAI’s opinion to know if there was any defect in the road design, especially near the culvert, where the driver of Jabbar Travels bus hit the structure. Forty-five passengers were charred to death in the incident. “Project director, NHAI, Ramesh Reddy said that there was absolutely no fault with the culvert design or its construction,” the sources said.
Family members of the bus victims have been knocking on the door of every institution, including Lokayukta, demanding action against influential JC Uma Reddy in whose name the bus was registered. But she is yet to be questioned by CID officials.
Investigators said scrutinizing documents was almost done and soon Uma Reddy, bus driver, bus operator, ticket booking agents, RTA officials and others would be questioned. The RTA officials are likely to be investigated as there were 52 passengers against the actual seating capacity of 43+2.
KOCHI:National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will relay the damaged stretch between Aroor and Kumbalam on NH66 (old NH47) on Friday.
The authority said that the machines required to carry out road milling works are on the way to Kochi from Andhra Pradesh.
NHAI project director C T Abraham said: “The plan is to grind the existing tarred surface and remove asphalt. We have to seal the concrete surface below and make it watertight. Later, the stretch will be relayed using bitumen concrete.”
NHAI had closed the Aroor-Kumbalam bridge after its surface developed large potholes that posed a threat to motorists. After inspecting the bridge, experts from IIT Madras had recommended that the entire tarred surface be removed. The bridge was built in 1987 and the authority stated that under present circumstance it was not possible to dismantle it.
Abraham said that the immediate concern of NHAI was to repair the road and make it motorable. The authority stated that though milling works are rarely carried out in the state, the works undertaken in Kochi was a ‘minor task which could be completed in a day’.
The estimated cost for the carrying out the work is around Rs 2.5 lakh. tnn The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will relay the damaged stretch on NH66 (old NH 47) between Aroor and Kumbalam on Friday. The authority said that the machine required for carrying out the “road milling works” are on the way to Kochi from Andhra Pradesh.
NHAI project director C T Abraham said, “The plan is to grind the existing tarred surface and remove asphalt. We have to seal the concrete surface below and make it water tight. Later, the stretch will be re-layed using bitumen concrete.”
NHAI had closed the Aroor-Kumbalam bridge after its surface developed large potholes, which posed grave threat to motorists. After inspecting the bridge, experts from IIT Madras had recommended to break up the entire tarred surface. The bridge was built in 1987 and the authority stated that under the present circumstance it was not possible to dismantle it.
Abraham said that the immediate concern of NHAI was to repair the road and make it motorable.
The authority stated that though milling works are rarely carried out in the state, the works undertaken in Kochi was a ‘minor task which could be completed in a day’. The estimated cost for the carrying out the works is around Rs 2.5 lakh.
Manabesh Mohanty,TNN |
NH-5 connects the twin cities of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar.
The problem is an under-construction flyover near Madhupatna for which the private construction company has not made arrangements for a diversion. This situation has been going on for the past three to four months.
The construction company in question has not made any attempts to clear encroachment on the road which would have made it possible to create a diversion.
The National Highways Authority of India declined to comment.
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