Kumbalam-Aroor bridge to open to traffic this week

December 18, 2013



A milling machine deployed by NHAI on Monday to scoop out the tarred portion of the severely-potholed Kumbalam-Aroor bridge. Photo: H. Vibhu.
The Hindu -A milling machine deployed by NHAI on Monday to scoop out the tarred portion of the severely-potholed Kumbalam-Aroor bridge. Photo: H. Vibhu.

Damaged bridges on Container Road still out of bounds

The Kumbalam-Aroor bridge will be thrown open to vehicles this week after repairing the potholes.

On Monday, a milling machine brought from Andhra Pradesh scooped out the tarred portion, exposing the concrete surface. “There are a few uneven surfaces over concrete and patch work will be done using bitumen. Vehicles will be able to use the bridge soon after,” said NHAI’s Kochi project director C.T. Abraham.

The bridge was built in late 1980’s by the Kerala State Construction Corporation using pre-stressed concrete. Five months after traffic was banned through the bridge, NHAI recently entrusted a contractor to scoop out the bridge’s tarred, potholed surface.

The repair work is being done on the basis of a report from a team of experts from IIT, Chennai. They spoke of how tarring has to be done afresh, since pothole-filling will not last long, Mr Abraham said.

Potholes developed all over the old bridge within a few months of NHAI resurfacing it in July 2011. Motorists, traffic police, NGOs and youth wings of political parties had blamed NHAI for inordinate delay in fixing the damage, despite the agency collecting hefty toll from highway users. The potholes thus became bigger, exposing the bridge’s concrete surface. After a slew of protests and accidents, NHAI curbed traffic through the bridge in June.

Container road bridges

Though Aroor-Kumbalam bridge is slated to be opened to vehicles next week, NHAI is yet to reopen two brand new bridges which were closed down in 2012 following structural damage. Both were built by Soma Constructions.

The bridge built parallel to the second Goshree bridge was closed to traffic after its gap slab began to sink at an alarming rate.

The NHAI entrusted the probe to civil engineering experts from NIT, Kozhikode, who are yet to finalise their report. To a question on how the problem could be rectified, Mr Abraham said the spans will have to be extended or their number increased, thereby extending the bridge’s viaduct.

Similarly, the Moolampilly-Kothad bridge on the Vallarpadam-Kalamassery Container Road was declared out of bounds for vehicles within a year of it being opened to traffic. This was after a huge chunk of concrete fell off the bridge’s surface, leaving a gaping hole in the bridge.

“Repair works are under way, following which the bridge will be opened to traffic,” Mr Abraham said.

National Highways Authority of India resumes toll road projects with IRB contract

December 18, 2013

 Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA

Ashutosh KumarAshutosh Kumar

IRB Infrastructure Ltd has emerged as the preferred bidder for Rs 1,500 crore highway development contract for four-laning of the 98.7 km stretch between Solapur and Yedeshi in Maharashtra from the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).

A senior NHAI official said, “With the drying up of appetite for the toll-based projects in the last one year, the government had skewed its contract awards towards normal engineering, procurement construction (EPC) basis. Projects like this give an opportunity for asset development in addition to the growth in size for developers.”

The toll project, coming after a gap of almost a year, will be developed on a design build finance operate and transfer model by IRB.

IRB has sought a viability gap funding (VGF) of Rs 189 crore — about 12% of the capital cost of the project — from the NHAI.

In the toll model of the highway funding, the government offers VGF, or upfront grant, to developers, capped at 40% of the project cost. The developer raises the remaining amount in a 60:40 debt equity ratio.

IRB plans to develop the Solapur-Yedeshi section in 910 days. The concession period for this project is 29 years, which means IRB will retain the right on toll revenues from the project for 29 years before transferring the asset to the government.

This project will add up to the companies’ present construction order book of Rs 5,050 crore, which is to be executed in the next two to three years.

The company has 18 toll projects, of which 16 are operational.



Collectors Asked to Expedite Land Acquisition for NH Projects

December 16, 2013

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.


After four lives lost, NHAI wakes up to highway gaps

December 16, 2013

Agency: DNA

Anuj Ismail

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.


Kaithal-Ambala NH to be 4-laned: Surjewala

December 16, 2013

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.


Volvo bus inferno: NHAI debunks faulty road theory

December 13, 2013


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.


NHAI to relay Aroor stretch on Friday

December 13, 2013


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.



Nightmare travel on NH-5 stretch

December 11, 2013

Manabesh Mohanty,TNN |  

 CUTTACK: To cross a mere 500-metre stretch from Press Chhak and Madhupatna Square on National Highway No. 5, it takes more than 35 to 45 minutes.

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.

20 accident spots up for NHAI scrutiny

December 10, 2013

Manish Umbrajkar,TNN |


PUNE: The 34-km Dehu Road-Katraj bypass, linking the outskirts of Pune with Pimpri Chinchwad, has become unsafe for road users.

The traffic branch of the Pune police has identified as many as 20 accident-prone spots on this stretch which is a part of the Pune-Bangalore national highway. A detailed report on the causes of accidents has been drawn up and road-safety measures have been suggested for implementation by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), which has constructed the road.

Deputy commissioner of police (traffic) Vishwas Pandhare on Monday said at least 110 people have lost their lives on this stretch in the last three years. Besides 110 fatalities, a total of 47 accidents, resulting in serious injuries to people have occurred on the road. “This is the most unsafe stretch of road passing through Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad municipal limits,” Pandhare said.

Traffic branch officials led by police inspector S G Bhambure had conducted a study of the road for nearly three months. It identified the accident-prone spots and causes of accidents. The traffic branch officials had invited NHAI officials to participate in the study. Traffic engineer Pratapsinh Bhosale and traffic policeman Deepak Varse helped them.

Pandhare said the report will be submitted to NHAI officials. “Although the traffic branch has identified the accident-prone spots, an independent road safety audit should be conducted. There should be a system put in place by the NHAI which will continuously monitor road safety measures,” he added.

Among the 110 fatalities, the highest number of deaths were those of two-wheeler riders, followed by pedestrians. The trend was replicated in the number of mishaps with serious injuries. The stretch has just four locations with safe pedestrian crossings.

Some common points identified as causes of accidents are absence of road signages, punctures of road median, absence of street lights, and absence of safe pedestrian crossings. At many places, gravel has been strewn on the left side of the road which makes two-wheeler riders use the right side of their lanes. It puts them in direct conflict with fast-moving vehicles and trucks that use the right side, resulting in accidents. Many locations have no demarcation of service roads and the main road, and medians are broken.

NHAI officials said a team of road safety consultants will conduct a road safety audit for three days. “They have been directed to coordinate with police officials to identify accident-prone locations and submit remedial measures,” an NHAI official said.

As recently as November 3, Subhash Rathod (50), a labourer was killed on the spot and another sustained severe injuries after the motorcycle they were riding crashed into a stationery truck near the Katraj-Dehu Road bypass in Pashan.

On February 12, 2012, two national-level badminton players from the city died in an accident near the Shiv Chhatrapati sports complex at Balewadi. Another player, who was in the car, was critically injured. Siddhant Ghorpade and Saurabh Paralikar, both from Kothrud, were killed when their speeding car went off the road and crashed into a tree. Noted classical instrument maker Yusuf Mirajkar was among two persons, who died in an accident on Katraj-Dehu Road bypass on August 17, 2011.

Throbbing with activity

* Eleven years ago the Dehu Road-Katraj bypass was constructed as a four-lane highway to allow heavy vehicles, buses and other vehicles to avoid entering the city. The highway stretch is an important link from Mumbai to Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur, Belgaum, and Bangalore. Over the past decade, the bypass has become an integral part of Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad.

* Many commercial establishments, educational institutions, residential schemes have come up along both sides of the bypass. Vehicular and non-motorised traffic like pedestrians, and cyclists have invariably increased. The absence of service roads forces people to make use of the main road.

* The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has taken up widening of the highway stretch from four lanes to six lanes. Bridges across the river and subways are being built. Road-safety features have been hit because of the ongoing works. The issue was raised by road safety activists at a recent traffic advisory committee meeting organized by the police commissionerate.

NHAI set to award over 1,600 km road projects under EPC route

December 10, 2013

Mihir : New Delhi,

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is set to award road projects of over 1,600 km under the Engineering, Procurement and Contract (EPC) route in the next few months, an indication that momentum is picking up in the sector that has been under pressure in recent times.This is part of the 2,500 km of projects earmarked by the authority for awards this year.

“We have already received bids for five projects covering 502 km and the response is good. The number of bids these projects have received range from as low as 4 to 12. We are satisfied with the response under the EPC,” said a senior NHAI official.

In addition, the NHAI has also called bids for another 225 km and are preparing bids for projects covering 800 km.

The official added that these projects will act as a booster for the slowdown-hit infrastructure companies, who are not showing interest in projects under public-private partnership (PPP).

NHAI had to shift its focus from awarding under EPC after projects offered under PPP mode failed to attract takers. The authority did not find any takers for 20 “viable” projects put up for bids during the current fiscal.

Projects under EPC are virtually risk-free for the contractor, as the government funds the construction. Under this mechanism, the contractor has to quote the cost of constructing or upgrading the road section, and if the bid is accepted, the government funds the project.

The official added that the authority has enough cash to fund these projects under EPC during the current fiscal.

“Money is not an issue during the current fiscal, as these projects would require only 15 per cent of the total project cost during the year. Also, we do not have to acquire a large amount of land because these projects are to be built on the existing alignment and land required will already be in place,” said the official.

With the award of 2,500 km under EPC, NHAI would be able to able to improve its award tally for the current fiscal.

The authority managed to award only 800 km of projects in 2012-13.

During the current fiscal, NHAI has awarded projects covering 859 km so far – a substantial portion under EPC. The road transport ministry has awarded projects covering 463 km.



BIDS RECEIVED for 5 projects covering 502 km

THE average number of bids received range from 4 to 12

BIDS are being called for projects covering 225 km, and preparations are underway for an additional 800 km

The award target for projects under EPC is 2,500 km

859 km of road projects have been awarded in this fiscal



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