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Hyderabad firm bags key NH-33 project

Ranchi, Dec. 8: A long-pending plan to widen the Jamshedpur-Ranchi stretch of NH-33, the state’s lifeline, is set to be implemented in a month with National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) short-listing a Hyderabad-based construction major to take up the Rs 1,500-crore project.

Nagarjuna Construction Company Limited (NCC) offered the lowest rates to execute the project, which entails four-laning the 163km stretch of the highway between Ranchi and Jamshedpur, one of the busiest in the state.

“NCC is the lowest bidder among the 11 financial bids received by us. The NHAI board needs to give a final nod before a letter of acceptance (LoA) can be issued,” NHAI general manager A. Srivastava told The Telegraph over telephone from Delhi today, the day after bids were opened by officials at their Dwarka headquarters in New Delhi.

The project, part of National Highway Development Programme phase III, was to be executed a couple of years back, but construction majors could not be roped in, leading to at least five deferments.

The project will be executed under BOT-annuity basis under which the agency will be reimbursed a fixed annual sum after completion of work.

Srivastava, who looks after NHAI projects in Bihar and Jharkhand, said he was now hopeful that the project would start within a month.

“We need to follow mandatory processes of awarding the contract to the shortlisted agency,” he explained.

This time, as many as 18 construction majors bought bid documents for the four-laning project.

They included Larsen and Toubro, Gammon Infrastructure Projects, Punj Lloyd Infrastructures, IL&FS Transportation Networks, Simplex Infrastructures and Reliance Infraventure.

The four-laning of the stretch was approved in the 2004-05 financial year, but NHAI could not find a bidder under BOT (toll) basis. After three abortive attempts, the project was redesigned to be executed under BOT-annuity basis.

This is NHAI’s fourth highway widening project in the state apart from four/six-laning NH-2 (part of Golden Quadrilateral connecting Calcutta and Delhi, via Barhi in Jharkhand) and four-laning two other NH-33 stretches, Hazaribagh-Ranchi and Barhi-Hazaribagh.

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