Shimla: Troubled contract obligations with a Chinese government backed infrastructure company for a World Bank funded another road project is headed for termination, (the state has already cancelled one project awarded to the same company) because of gross delays and bad execution.
A senior government functionary said that the Chinese PSU Longjian Roads and Bridges Co had stopped working on the 45 Km long Mehatpur-Una-Amb road project.
Widening and carrying out improvements to the road was awarded for Rs 126.50 crore under a global bidding tender in May 2008 to Longjian Co and originally had a closing date of June 2011 but was extended by two years till June 2013.
With a new government in place and portfolio’s yet to be distributed to the nine member cabinet by chief minister Virbhadra Singh, senior government officials are tightlipped about the matter as a major bureaucracy shakeup is on the cards.
“One of the major decisions to be taken by the new government would be decide about this contract on a priority because more delay would only further delay construction of the important road, he said.
On conditions of anonymity, he added, “ever since cancellation of the 81 Km Theog-Kotkhai-Jubbal-Rohru road project in June, which was awarded to the same Chinese company, the Mehatpur-Una-Amb project has been facing trouble.”
About the canceled Theog-Rohru road tender, construction of which was awarded in May 2008 for Rs 228.25 Cr, the official said that World Bank had approved re-tendering of the whole contract.
Having become wiser from the bitter experience by dealing with an international infrastructure company, the bidding is likely to be thrown open for Indian companies only.
Apart from the cost escalation that is going to creep into the new contract, the whole project is planned to be broken into two packages, one from Theog to Kharapattar and the other from Kharapatter to Rohru, said the officer.
“Relying on the old layout, drawings of re-alignments at places where road construction had become a problem and new designs of bridges to be constructed on the critical road was being done. Only after they are approved would the project be tendered again,” he said.
Only in August, the World Bank had approved additional financing of US $ 61.7 million for the troubled road contracts, which originally were estimated to cost US $ 303.43 million (Rs 1365.435 crores). Closing date of the project has also been extended to June 2016, under which a total of 10 contract packages for upgrading 447 Kms of state roads had been awarded.