Monday, April 21, 2008

Hyderabad to Machilipatnam NH-9 work to start: Your ROAD to Riches!

Hyderabad, April 15: The long-delayed expansion of the National Highway-9 into a four-lane road between Hyderabad and Vijayawada is expected to begin in December 2008. It was supposed to have commenced in March. The Vijayawada-Machilipatnam portion of the same highway is also expected to be taken up then. Expansion of these two roads is being undertaken as part of the National Highway Development Programme phase-3 on Build-Operate-Transfer basis.

The Vijayawada-Machilipatnam stretch was also included in the same project because it ensures connectivity to the upcoming Bandar Port. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is currently scrutinising the pre-qualification bids for the Rs 1,460 crore project and the process will be completed by the end of April. Sources said the agreement with the successful bidder will be signed in June.The National Highways Authority of India had taken up the four-laning of the section on Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis under National Highway Development Project (NHDP), phase III.

"The successful bidder will then be given six months for financial closure and commencement of the project works. The entire expansion programme is scheduled to be completed in two-and-a-half years from launch," said the NHAI project director, Mr Srinivasulu. The NHAI had planned to take up the Hyderabad-Vijayawada road expansion in two packages but the Planning Commission was against it and instead wanted the entire work to be undertaken under a single project. The Planning Commission also insisted that a pre-qualification bidding process be followed as it is a massive project.

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