MP flays delay in launch of six-lane Kozhikode bypass work

M.K. Raghavan, MP, has sought the immediate launch of work on the 28.4-km six-lane Kozhikode bypass along National Highway 66 from Vengalam to Ramanattukara, accusing consultant INKEL Limited of delaying the project.

He told the media here on Tuesday that though the Hyderabad-based KMC Constructions Limited had been given the contract after the tender procedure in 2018 April, the company delayed submitting the financial closure statement, which was necessary for the execution of the financing agreements of the project. Mr. Raghavan accused the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) of showing negligence in time-bound execution and completion of the procedures. The NHAI also indirectly supported the irresponsible approach of KMC Constructions, he claimed. Mr. Raghavan asked how the Hyderabad-based company, which had a bad track record, managed to get the contract.

He pointed out that the NHAI was also yet to approve the financial closure statement that was submitted after much delay. The ₹1,710-crore project was supposed to have been completed within two years. Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari had laid the foundation stone for the project on October 13, 2020.

Mr. Raghavan also found fault with INKEL Limited, in which the State government had a major stake. INKEL was part of Calicut Expressway Private Limited, a company set up for the execution of the road project. The MP claimed that INKEL did not have any previous experience in executing construction works. The company was in the midst of an administrative crisis as well with three managing directors being changed in a short span of time. The State government had also not started shifting of utilities such as electricity lines, telephone lines as well as drinking water pipelines. Mr. Raghavan said the delay was ironical as funds and land had already been made available. “If the project is delayed further, it will lead to the doubling of cost,” he said. The MP urged the Chief Minister to convene a meeting of representatives of INKEL, NHAI, KMC Constructions and political leaders to sort out the issue.

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2021 7:00:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/mp-flays-delay-in-launch-of-six-lane-kozhikode-bypass-work/article33505085.ece

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