RInfra to pull out of Dwarka Expressway; project may get delayed

Completion of the much-awaited Dwarka Expressway may now be further delayed as one of the contractors — Reliance Infrastructure (RInfra) — has decided to pull out of the tender, and has even refused to extend the validity of its bid over delay in land acquisition.

It reportedly took the central government one day to construct 27 km of stretches of road per day, last year, but the construction of the 27-km long Dwarka Expressway, planned in 2006, has been unduly delayed for more reasons than one.

“Delay in getting forest clearance has already affected the project. Also there is delay in land acquisition on the part of the Haryana government,” a senior road ministry official said.

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) had invited bids for executing the Rs 75-billion contract in four packages. RInfra won bid for one package, while Laresen &Toubro (L&T) won bids for two, and J Kumar Projects won tenders for the remaining one. But, the packages are not uniformly divided as far as the cost is concerned.

“Bids for the project were invited on February 28, 2018, and we emerged the lowest bidder. Further, there has been inordinate delay in issuance of letter of award (LoA). Hence, we have decided to not extend our bid validity,” an RInfra spokesperson said.  

LoA is a written confirmation of award of a contract by a customer to a successful bidder.

“The package would now be re-tendered and the process will take its time,” the official said. L&T and J Power Projects have agreed to extend the validity of their respective bids, he said.

In 2017, the NHAI granted national highway status to the Dwarka Expressway, which starts from Delhi’s Shiv Murti on National Highways-8 (NH-8) and passes from the parallel of Terminal-3 of Delhi Airport up to the junction of Sectors 25 and 26 in Dwarka, named as Barthal Chowk, and ends at Kharki Daula in Gurugram. However, in-principle approval for the same was given by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in May 2016.

Once completed, the expressway will become an alternative route between Delhi and Gurugram, and is likely to ease congestion on NH-8.

The horizontal alignment of the expressway is designed to allow vehicles to play at a speed of about 80 km per hour. The main road will be eight-lane, with a three-lane service road on either side. A flyover has been proposed at the intersections along with a four-lane underpass.

Planned in 2006, the progress of the expressway has been tardy, mainly because of hurdles in land acquisition.

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