The Madhucon Projects, a Hyderabad-based infrastructure group, is all set to receive the Letter of Acceptance from the National Highways Authority of India for the four-laning project of the 65-km stretch of NH 9 between Vijayawada and Machilipatnam at an estimated cost of Rs. 560 crore.

The tenders in this regard have been opened and Madhucon is stated to have emerged the most preferred bidder. Paper work is going on at the moment and the LoA may be issued to the company anytime in the next three months. It may take six months for Madhucon to start works once the way is cleared for it to go ahead.

The four-laning of Vijayawada-Machilipatnam stretch has been a long-pending demand of different quarters in Krishna district with the vehicular traffic in the present two-lane way is found to be highly congested and also because of frequent accidents. The project has assumed greater importance after efforts started for developing a full-fledged port at Bandar in the past few years.

P. Ravinder Rao, project director of NH-9, who controls the Vijayawada-Machilipatnam stretch told The Hindu that the land acquisition for the four-laning works have been going on. The works may start any time in the next nine months.

Only in October, the Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure approved the four-laning project at a total estimated cost of Rs. 736 crore of which Rs. 30 crore was earmarked for land acquisition, rehabilitation and resettlement issues and also pre-construction. The project is to be implemented under the National Highways Development Programme phase IV-A in the build, operate and transfer mode.

Once started, the construction of the project is to be completed in a year's time as per the approval given by the Cabinet. A concession period of 20 years is given to the bidder. Officials say that Maducon will carry out the construction works of four-laning project at Rs. 560 crore. Thickly populated colonies developed alongside the Vijayawada-Machilipatnam section particularly on the outskirts of Vijayawada city and towns like Kankipadu, Vuyyuru and some abutting villages. In this regard, land acquisition may pose some hurdles but officials say there has been no major resistance in this regard so far. The four-laning is expected to reduce the travel time and cost in the 65-km section to a large extent because of free movement of vehicles without needing to face traffic in the opposite.

Keywords: NHAI

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