L&T, Reliance bidders for Yogi's flagship Rs 182 bn Purvanchal Expressway

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Infrastructure majors including L&T and Reliance Infrastructure are among the seven companies in fray for Yogi Adityanath government’s flagship Purvanchal Expressway project that is estimated at Rs 182 billion.

In the financial bids that began on Thursday for the proposed 340-km Purvanchal Expressway, seven companies --- NCC Limited, Apco Infratech, L&T, PNC Infratech, L&T, Gayatri Projects, Afcons Infrastructure and Reliance Infrastructure --- have emerged as lowest bidders for the eight packages.

The bids would be forwarded to the cabinet for consideration and subsequent award of the respective package to the lowest bidder. This process is likely to take two to three weeks, a senior official told Business Standard.

The Adityanath government is looking to inviting PM Narendra Modi to launch the project at Azamgarh, the parliamentary constituency of Samajwadi Party (SP) president Mulayam Singh Yadav for a strong pro-development message to people in run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha poll.

The proposed expressway would traverse nine districts which are Lucknow, Barabanki, Faizabad, Ambedkarnagar, Amethi, Sultanpur, Azamgarh, Mau and Ghazipur. Besides, the expressway would connect all important towns in its periphery like Varanasi, Ayodhya, Allahabad and Gorakhpur through link roads.

The expressway would comprise a 3 km runway at Kudebhar (Sultanpur) for landing and take-off by fighter planes during exigencies. The Agra-Lucknow Expressway has a similar facility at Unnao district.

Purvanchal Expressway would be India’s largest access controlled expressway and prune travel time between Ghazipur and Lucknow to less than 5 hrs. The expressway would include provisions to lay oil/gas pipeline in future if needed.

It would provide seamless connectivity between Eastern UP and National Capital Region (NCR) via 165-km Agra-Greater Noida Yamuna Expressway and 302-km Agra-Lucknow Expressway and spur industrialisation.

Earlier, the project was conceived to be funded through state budget on the lines of the Agra-Lucknow Expressway. Now, the government has decided to mop up about Rs 120 billion through external funding agencies, such as Asian Development Bank (ADB), Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica), UAE sovereign fund etc.

So far, the state has pumped about Rs 68 billion for procurement of land from its own resources and taken Rs 12 billion loan from Housing and Urban Development Corporation (Hudco). The state cabinet had also constituted a committee headed by the state chief secretary to recommend the best financial option for the remaining part of the required funds to the tune of over Rs 100 billion.

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