The project to widen the road between Nelamangala and Tumakuru (NH-4), which was delayed by a year due to the pandemic and legal hurdles, is expected to begin soon with officials at the National Highway Authority (NHAI) of India taking it up on priority considering the congestion on the road.
Being the gateway to northern parts of Karnataka as well as the country, the road sees heavy traffic. The authorities had planned to take up the project after the expiry of the build operate and transfer (BOT) contract in June 2021.
The NHAI called the tender in mid 2021 but the work was delayed after the company collecting the toll on the stretch got an extension citing low revenue during the pandemic.
The tender for the project includes building a bypass to Tumakuru besides upgrading the four-lane road into a six-lane carriageway. The NHAI officials had estimated the cost at Rs 1,152 crore and three-year deadline for completion of the works.
Officials said HG Infra Engineering Limited had emerged as the lowest bidder by quoting Rs 844 crore when the financial bids were opened in January this year. “We have recently awarded the letter of acceptance. An agreement will be signed for the commencement of the civil work next month, following which the work will begin,” an official said.
However, sources said the civil work on the project will begin after the monsoon season to ensure rains won’t hamper the construction activity.
“The courts had allowed the present concessionaire to collect the toll till November. Instead of waiting till then, we will take up the work on constructing the Tumakuru bypass in the first phase. Preliminary work on widening the highway will begin in September. Work in full swing will begin in November,” the source added.