Confusion prevails over starting work on Kozhikode bypass project

Confusion still prevails over the commencement of the work on the ₹1,850-crore Kozhikode bypass six-laning project even as a statement by M.K. Raghavan, Kozhikode MP, at an online meeting chaired by Public Works Minister P.A. Mohamed Riyas gave hope that the decade-old proposal is finally starting to see light at the end of the tunnel.

Questions, however, are being raised on entrusting the project again to Krishna Mohan Construction (KMC) Private Limited, the Hyderabad company which failed to go ahead with the project even though the company secured the contract in April 2018.

As per the contract, the construction of the six-lane bypass should have started in August 2018 and the work completed in April 2020. But the company then failed to secure a bank guarantee of ₹85.50 crore.

At the same time, Mumbai-based Welspun Enterprises Limited, which constructed the Delhi-Meerut Expressway in record time, was roped in to take over the project last month.

On Thursday, Mr. Raghavan said that Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari had assured him that the projects’ construction activities would begin before August 10. This was after Mr. Gadkari rang up M. Vikram Reddy, managing director of KMC, which had secured the contract for the widening of the 28-km corridor from Vengalam to Idimuzhikkal in 2018.

Mr. Raghavan also attributed the three-year delay in executing the project to the financial crisis of the company and the inexperienced INKEL Limited, a public-private partnership company promoted by the State government, getting a stake in the Special Vehicle Project.

Meanwhile, the meeting chaired by Mr. Riyas on Friday decided that KMC would not be allowed to take up the project if the company failed to begin the work by August 24. National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) member (projects) E.K. Pandey and NHAI Kozhikode project director Nirmal Manohar Zade and District Collector N. Tej Lohit Reddy took part in the meeting.

It was also decided that KMC would submit an action plan to the NHAI and the Public Works Department by July 30.

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Printable version | Sep 17, 2021 7:32:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/confusion-prevails-over-starting-work-on-kozhikode-bypass-project/article35549313.ece

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