Kundli-Manesar-Palwal expressway likely to miss May 31 deadline

June 19, 2013


Aditya Dev, TNN | May 27, 2013, 02.18 AM IST

GURGAON: The Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) expressway is likely to miss the deadline of May 31, 2013 set for completing the entire 135-km project. So far the overall physical progress for the project is about 70%, even as the priority stretch between Manesar and Palwal is 85% complete. While HSIIDC says there is no such legitimate impediments exists as on today, the concessionaire, DSC Ltd, claims unavailability of land as well as delay in approvals to implement change of scope for not completing the project on time.
Surprisingly, there has been no change in the stance of the concessionaire since last year as far as the physical progress of the project, whether it is the entire stretch or the priority stretch, is concerned. The concessionaire has been quoting the same figures of 70% and 85% for the entire project and the priority stretch respectively for the last one year.

The information received under an RTI application revealed that between January and March 2013, the project made a meager 0.17% progress. In fact, collating this information with another RTI reply reveals the apathy of the concessionaire in completing the project. The KMP project has made a dismal 1.2% physical progress between June, 2012 and March 2013. Likewise, it had made just 4.46% during the year between July 2011 and July 2012.

This information has been revealed in the RTI replies to a Gurgaon resident, Aseem Takyar, an RTI activist. Takyar has asked HSIIDC to provide monthly completion report of the project.

Another important query was the estimated time for the completion of the entire project. HSIIDC replied that as per the assurance given by the concessionaire, the project will be completed by May 31 2013.

However, when contacted, a spokesperson for KMP Expressways Ltd, gave various reasons for the slow progress of the project. The KMP expressway Ltd is the concessionaire of which DSC Ltd is the main partner.

The concessionaire had made the commitment at a meeting in Delhi on June 8, 2012 between chief ministers of Haryana and Delhi, to open the Manesar-Palwal section for tolling within the next 90 to 120 days and complete the expressway by May 31, 2013.

The overall physical progress for the entire project is about 70%. The approvals for the change of scope claims are still awaited and funds are yet to be released to the concessionaire which is causing some delay in the project. Regarding this issue, the arbitration clause has been invoked so that there can be a speedy agreement on the amount of funds payable to the concessionaire due to the change of scope of the project. A fast track Arbitration Settlement could actually help in the progress of the project, informed the spokesperson.

There have been a lot of design changes in major and minor structures directed by the client which has led to the change of scope of work. We have provided the full detailed break-up of the change of scope work along with the costs to the client for approval, added the spokesperson.

For the delay in completion of the Manesar-Palwal stretch, the spokesperson said the work had been held up because there is a section of around a km in the Nuh area where the road is still to be built as the land around that area has not yet been handed over to us free of encumbrances. Once this land is made available to us, we would need about three months to build the road on this section and lay the top layer for the entire priority stretch and complete it.

The HSIIDC has been made executing agency for developing the Kundli-Manesar Palwal Expressway (Western Peripheral Expressway around Delhi) by the Haryana government. The expressway is being developed on build-operate-transfer (BOT) and zero-grant basis, with a concession period of 23 years and nine months, including three years of construction period. The date of start of the project was July 31, 2006. The scheduled date of completion of construction was July 29, 2009.

The project involves construction of 47 underpasses, 31 cattle crossings, 61 pedestrian crossings, 33 agriculture vehicles overpasses, 26 bridges, 4 railway overbridges and 3 grade separators at NH 1, NH 10 and NH 8. The project would allow heavy and commercial vehicles to completely bypass the Delhi NCR region thereby decongesting traffic within the capital.



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