Staff Reporter

It is almost six years since the project was mooted

No firm evinced interest when NHAI invited tenders recently

Highway authority contemplating restructuring the project and exploring other possibilities

VIJAYAWADA: The four-laning of the Vijayawada-Machilipatnam road is likely to be delayed by a few more months as no firm evinced interest when the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) invited bids recently.

The NHAI experienced similar situations when it invited bids on earlier occasions. It received only single tender in previous bid process, and the NHAI cancelled the procedure as approving single tender was against the NHAI norms. While the tender process was halted in 2007 for various reasons, it is almost six years since the proposal was mooted for four-laning the road.

The NHAI authorities, in July last, expected that they would be able to commence the works by December 2009. The NHAI authorities are, now, contemplating restructuring the project and are exploring the other possibilities of going ahead with the project.

“Due to poor response, the bidding process was postponed more then twice. Now, the project could be commenced by reducing its scope or taking up in different module. The NHAI was exploring all possible ways,” NHAI project director (BOT) P. Ravindra Rao. The other possibilities includes construction of the road by government itself, and restructure the project, he says.

The NHAI, earlier, invited tenders but could not finalise as only one firm evinced interest. The tender process, hence, was cancelled as approving single tender is against NHAI norms, he says.

The NHAI earlier restructured the project so as to ensure that it is cost-effective and viable.

The cost will come down by at least Rs. 100 crore, while initial estimates are about Rs. 480 crore. The NHAI now pegged the cost of four laning of Vijayawada-Machilipatnam road at around Rs. 400 crore.

The NHAI is proposing to construct four bypass roads, one each at Kankipadu, Vuyyuru, Mantada and Sultan Nagar.

The land acquisition at these villages will be more compared to other places, as the entire bypass road will have to be constructed, while the existing roads will be used at 36 villages where land acquisition is not necessary. The NHAI is planning to construct three large bridges and six small bridges en route.