Saturday, May 10, 2008

Top Firms in Race for Hyderabad to Machilipatnam NH9 project

Hyderabad, May 4: Construction majors such as GMR, L&T, Nagarjuna and Reliance Constructions are vying to grab the lucrative National Highway 9 expansion contract. The Centre had cleared the NH9 expansion project as part of the National Highway Development Programme phase-3 on Build-Operate-Transfer basis. Besides the Hyderabad-Vijayawada stretch, the Vijayawada-Machilipatnam stretch was also included in the programme to ensure connectivity to the upcoming Bandar Port.

Sources said the National Highways Authority of India is currently scrutinising the pre-qualification bids for the Rs 1,600-crore project and the process would be completed by the month-end. In all, 19 bidders have applied for the pre-qualification process for the Vijayawada-Hyderabad stretch (181-km) and 21 for the Vijayawada-Machilipatnam portion (64-km).

NHAI sources said the financial bids are expected to be finalised by the end of May and the agreement with the successful bidder will be signed in June. The successful bidder would be chosen on the basis of the company’s turnover, financial capacity, work experience and network, said the sources. Meanwhile, the state government has initiated the process of acquiring about 1,200 acres of land in Nalgonda and Krishna districts for the expansion of the Vijayawada-Hyderabad NH9. Besides, another 450 acres has to be acquired for the expansion of NH9 stretch between Vijayawada and Machilipatnam.

The Union Transport Secretary, Mr Brahma Dutt, visited Hyderabad recently and reviewed the project with the Transport Department principal secretary, Tishya Chatterjee, and other senior officials. He wanted the land acquisition process completed well in time so that the expansion works would not be hampered. There are 66 villages between Vijayawada and Hyderabad through which the NH9 passes and where land has to be acquired.

Revenue authorities in Nalgonda and Krishna districts completed the basic survey of land in 61 villages while the remaining steps are expected to be completed soon. "A formal notification for acquiring 1,200 acres of land will be issued soon after the survey work is completed," said a NHAI official overseeing the project. The NHAI has decided to build by-pass routes to prevent destruction of some villages on the Vijayawada-Hyderabad stretch.

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