Stalled World Bank funded Theog-Hatkoti-Rohru Rs 321 Cr road project retendered

Shimla: Work on the stalled World Bank funded Theog-Hatkoti-Rohru road project is to resume as the Himachal Pradesh government has after fresh tendering, awarded the Rs 321 crore contract to a Gurgaon based C&C Company.

Widening work on the road, which passes through a dense apple growing belt, has been facing a difficult time because the earlier contract with a Chinese construction company was revoked by the government for delays and shoddy work.

World Bank LogoThe contract for the up gradation of the 80 km stretch has been awarded in two packages to the company with a deadline of two and half years to complete it.

The distance from Theog to Kharapathar, a 48 km stretch, will be carried out at Rs 179 crore and the 32 km distance from Kharapathar to Rohru will require Rs 142 crore.

The project was initially awarded to a Chinese firm, Long Jian Road and Bridge Construction Company as a single package for Rs 228 crore. However, the firm could only complete about 22 per cent of work in the five years, which forced government to withdraw the contract and retender it.

The agreement for the project was signed between Project director Naresh Sharma and Director of C & C, RN Aggarwal on November 19. Andrew Vogle, independent contract supervison consultant for the World Bank funded project was also present on the occasion.

The pathetic condition of the Theog-Hatkoti-Rohru road was one of the premier issues in the previous Assembly polls.

For the reason the project has already seen a time over-run and therefore, the actual cost for the project has inflated to Rs 383 crore. The Chinese company has already received the payment of Rs 62 crore for the work done by it.

The Himachal Pradesh government had entered into a tripartite agreement with World Bank and the union government for execution of a road project, which besides the Theog-Hatkoti-Rohru road included Una-Mehatpur and several other roads was estimated at Rs 1365 crores.

Delays and litigation have already escalated the whole projects costs to over 1802 crore. The World Bank has agreed to provide additional loan of $61 million to meet up the increased cost of the project.

A mechanical engineering graduate with a post graduation in marketing and sales, Ashish has combined professional experience of more than 4 years. Ashish is a great fan of Martin Scorsese. He loves to write poetry in his spare time. He lives in Shimla.

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