Poor response takes toll on road project

Poor response takes toll on road project

Only seven of total 51 packages have been taken up in phase I

After poor response from the investors, the government has decided to implement the project in a phased manner. In the first phase the government has proposed to take up only seven of the total 51 packages it announced earlier.

Chief Minister Yeddyurappa, in a programme on January 28, 2009, launched development of 10,000 kms of road, including widening of Bangalore-Mysore road into a six-lane road on a DBOT (Design, Build, Operate and Transfer) basis. Karnataka Road Development Corporation Limited (KRDCL) was designated as nodal agency to implement the project.

Deadline postponed

The Corporation issued a notification on May 26, 2009 proposing to develop the roads in 51 packages. So far, the Corporation has postponed the deadline to accept tenders twice.

But there has been no encouraging response from the investors, though several companies attended the pre-bid meeting. The investors demanded that the government should bear the land expenses and prepare Detailed Project Report (DPRs) of each package.

As per the original notification, private bidders had to prepare DPRs and bear the land expenses. Eventually, the government agreed to the demand. Even then the investors showed interest to take up only those roads where vehicular traffic is more as they have to earn returns by collecting the toll.

Phased manner

KRDCL Chief Engineer N S Ramesh said the Corporation will take up seven packages as of now, and the rest of the packages will be taken up in a phased manner. “DPRs for these packages are being prepared. Once they are ready it will be notified for the benefit of the investors,” he said.

As of now, the deadline to submit tenders is September 30. The corporation will extend the deadline as the DPRs are not yet finalised. The seven packages cover a total of 1,519.44 kms with an estimated cost of Rs 5,059 crore.

Seven packages

* Shimoga-Thoranagal - 216.58 kms
* Anekal-Shidlaghatta - 89.12 kms
* Sira-Mulbagal (SH-58) - 351.61 kms
* Mysore-Koratagere (SH-33) - 301.22 kms
* Andhra Pradesh border near Kothadoddi to join SH-23 near Kapgal - 234.34 kms
* Tavaragere - Kudithini (SH-29) - 146.26 kms
* Gangavathi-Mundargi - 180.31 kms

Six-lane toll road dropped

The State government has dropped the plan to develop the existing Bangalore-Mysore Road into a six-lane toll road. There are two reasons for the decision - there has been no response from investors to take up the project; the agency which completed development of the road into a four-lane road in 2006 holds the responsibility to maintain the same till 2014.

The Government does not want to engage another agency for development of the road even as maintenance is being done by the previous agency.  KRDCL Chief Engineer N S Ramesh said, the Government decided to drop the idea as it might attract legal complications if two agencies were allowed to work on one road.

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