Days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to lay the foundation stone of the proposed Purvanchal Expressway, the state government has finally completed the tender process for the project, which got the Cabinet’s approval Tuesday.
On Tuesday, the government, in its third attempt, wrapped up the tender process by assigning contracts for eight stretches of the 340-km expressway to five bidders. The developers selected for the project are: Gayatri Projects Pvt Ltd, PNC Infratech Ltd and GR Infra Projects Ltd, which have be given contracts for two stretches each, along with Apco Infratech Ltd and Oriental Structural Engineering Pvt Ltd, which have each gotten contracts for one stretch.
With the Cabinet’s approval, these companies would be given go ahead to start construction soon after the laying of the foundation stone.
“Compared to the previous tender we had cancelled fearing higher costs quoted by the bidders, this tender has been finalised at a 5.24 per cent lesser estimate of the construction cost. In terms of money, this would be about Rs 620 crore lower than the previous bid, and about Rs 1,514 crore lesser than the bid finalised (by the previous government) in 2016,” Avaneesh Awasthi, Uttar Pradesh Principal Secretary (Information) told The Indian Express.
He further said that while about Rs 6,500 crore was spent to purchase about 93 per cent of the land, the remaining would be purchased soon. “Including the cost of maintenance for five years and other things, the total estimated cost of the project is about Rs 23,000 crore. Having learnt lessons from the shortcomings in the Lucknow-Agra Expressway, we have also included installation of anti-glare equipment as part of the project to ensure that lights from vehicles commuting on one side of the road does not affect traffic movement on the other side,” he added.
Awasthi said that though the deadline set for the project is of three years (36 months) with its completion expected in 2021, they would try to finish the same in 24-26 months’ time.
Meanwhile, the Cabinet also approved the proposal to form “Mitti Kala Board” to promote production of utensils and other items made of mud. The proposal is aimed at providing incentives to private industrial parks in the state, especially in Bundelkhand, Purvanchal and Madhyanchal regions.
The Cabinet also approved the proposal to provide free land to construction agencies for construction of houses under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (Urban) for economically weaker sections. The land provided for the construction under the scheme would be either gram sabha land or that of the municipal corporation or unused land available with different departments. A committee headed by the district magistrate would oversee the transfer of such land.