Japan keen on Bangalore-Chennai highway project

January 16, 2012

The Government of Japan on Thursday evinced interest to build the proposed Bangalore-Chennai expressway.

Japan’s Minister for Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLITT) Takeshi Maeda, during his meeting with the Union Road Transport and Highways Minister C P Joshi here, said the country is keen on executing the project, especially with a Japan-based company being involved in preparing a detailed project report.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Joshi said: “We told them (Japan government) that we have a very transparent system, where you have to enter into the bidding process.

If Japan government is interested in taking up the project on government to government (G-G) basis, then you have to discuss it at the higher level.”  The project could be discussed at the Prime Ministerial level, he added.

However, G-to-G negotiations might deprive Indian entrepreneurs the opportunity to participate in the bidding, as projects are straightaway given to a country and would be executed by companies from there.

In the highways sector, 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) is allowed and the Japanese companies can also tie-up with domestic companies to bid for the project, the Minister said. Currently, Egis-Secon, a private company, is preparing the Detailed Project Report (DPR) expected to be ready by March 2012.

“After getting the DPR, the government will decide how to implement the project -whether to go for competitive bidding or adopt any other method,” the minister said.

The expressway, first of its kind in the country, will be built with public-private participation on build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis.

The 100 per cent access-controlled road would cut down travelling time between Bangalore and Chennai to just three hours from the current five to six hours.

As per the proposal, the expressway will have six lanes and vehicles can travel at a speed of 120 km per hour.

The proposed road will run parallel to the existing National Highway–4 and pass through Kolar, Palamaner, Chittur and Ranipet.

Source: deccanherald.com