Revised tender boosts 6-lane B'luru-Mysuru road project

NHAI revises bids as BOT model scrapped; 3-year deadline for project

Revised tender boosts 6-lane B'luru-Mysuru road project

Travelling between Bengaluru and Mysuru could become seamless and a lot safer by 2021 as the project to convert National Highway 275 into a six-lane road is set to get a push by the Centre’s new finance model.

As per tender documents, the undertaking has been divided into two packages with separate bids for Bengaluru-Nidaghatta (56 km) and Nidaghatta-Mysuru (61 km). The estimated cost of the Bengaluru-Nidaghatta section is Rs 1,984 crore while the Nidaghatta-Mysuru section is a little costlier, at Rs 2,169.29 crore.

NHAI officials said the existing NH 275 was not really a four-lane road as it didn’t meet the standards set by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. After the completion of the project, which may take three years, there will be a six-lane main road flanked by a two-lane service road.

NHAI Chief General Manager (Tech) for Karnataka division, Rajeev Reddy, said 60 km of the 117-km highway covered by both the projects involved new alignment for bypasses. “Bypassing traffic at major towns on the way to Mysuru, including Ramanagaram and Mandya, will help avoid gridlocks. Expanding the existing road within towns would have led to a lot of problems as it involves acquiring built-up areas,” he said.

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has revised the tender after the Union government scrapped the old Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) model whereby the private party had to invest the entire amount of the project with the right to collect toll for a set period. The revised tender offers the Hybrid Annuity Model (HAM) where the NHAI will share 40% of the cost and take the revenue risk.

The investor will get fixed annual revenue while the highway authority takes care of toll collection. The project, initiated by the state government and approved by the ministry in April 2014, still needs to get final approvals from the Public Private Partnership Appraisal Committee. A senior official in the NHAI said the process could take six months.

“We expect a good number of bidders as the hybrid model not only reduces the burden of investment but also offers revenue security. We hope the project will be completed in three years,” the official added.

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