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Ring Road phase VII on fast track

- State banks on joint venture firm to finish remaining 60 per cent work

Ranchi, May 26: Work on the much-delayed phase VII of ambitious Ranchi Ring Road is expected to begin soon.

The chief minister’s secretariat is learnt to have cleared a proposal to allow Jharkhand Accelerated Road Development Company Limited (JARDCL) to complete the remaining portion of the 23km-stretch under phase VII, held up for over two years.

A joint venture between the state road construction department and leading infrastructure development company IL & FS, JARDCL has already executed phases III, IV, V and VI of the Ranchi Ring Road.

Sources said the state road construction department had sent a proposal to the chief minister’s office (CMO) earlier this month.

“The CMO gave a go-ahead yesterday. We may soon float a tender and engage a contractor to build the road,” said a senior official of the road construction department.

In 2007, then chief minister Madhu Koda had laid the foundation stone of the phase VII, which connects the NH-75 (Ranchi-Daltonganj Road) with the NH-33 (Ranchi-Hazaribagh Road).

The state road department had engaged construction firms Somdutt Builders and Shrinent & Shandilya to work on the stretch for an estimated cost of Rs 156 crore.

However, the project not only missed the original deadline of July 2010, but also overshot at least two extensions. With one after another hurdle delaying the work and shooting up costs, the contractors left the project after completing only around 40 per cent of the work in June 2012.

According to sources, the remaining work would now cost a whopping Rs 350 crore.

The 86km Ranchi Ring Road comprises seven phases. While work on phases III, IV, V and VI — total 36km — is complete, phases I and II have been included in the NHAI’s four-lane project between Ranchi and Jamshedpur. The work on these two stretches is in the early stage.

Phase III runs between Rampur along NH-33 and Tupudana on Ranchi-Khunti State Highway, phase IV links Tupudana with NH-23 (Ranchi-Gumla Road), while phases V and VI connect NH-23 with NH-75.

Road department sources said the four complete phases were among the first in the state to be executed under a public-private partnership (PPP) model.

JARDCL was given the job on BOT (build, own, and transfer) annuity basis. Under this scheme, the state is expected to give an annuity of around Rs 110 crore to the executing agency for 15 years after completion of the project.

Now, the state is planning to hand over phase VII to JARDCL under the same model.