Strict Govt deadline for Nagpur Highway

CM wants PWD to complete the state-of-the-art Expressway by September 2019

Mumbai : Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has given a tight deadline to the Shiv Sena-controlled Public Works department to complete the ambitious project by September 2019 – just months before the next Assembly polls.

Following this, in an attempt to fast-track the Mumbai-Nagpur Super Communications Expressway, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has decided to float the construction bids by September.

Meanwhile, MSRDC – the nodal agency for the project – is in talks with various institutions to secure financial aid to fund the project. According to senior MSRDC officials, they have been approached by nearly 10 international multilateral funding agencies to fund the Rs 30,000 crore project.

Touted as a game-changer, the MSRDC officials have fast-tracked the work to achieve the deadline. “We plan to float the construction bids by September 1, and for that we have to achieve financial closure by August 31. We are working towards it; several financial institutions such as KfW Development Bank, Dubai International Bank; a Russian bank, VTB Bank, a Malaysian government institution, etc, are all open to fund the project,” said Radheshyam Mopalwar, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, MSRDC.

The 800-km expressway will be developed through engineering, procurement, construction (EPC) cum annuity basis. According to Mopalwar, MSRDC targets to start the construction work by 2016-end and thereafter complete it in 27 months. The state-of-the-art Expressway will reduce the travel time between the two cities to just 10 hours.

Meanwhile, MSRDC will not be looking at funds from Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the project as their procedure is too time-consuming. “They are going to take a year and half before they can take up this project, we don’t have that much time. As I said, we want to achieve financial closure by August-end,” Mopalwar added.

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Contracts awarded

Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation, the nodal agency for the proposed Super Communication Expressway between Nagpur and Mumbai, has awarded consultancy contracts for two of the five sections of the 800-km road. STUP consultants has bagged the contract to prepare the feasibility cum detailed project report for the 260km Amravati section, while Wadia & Co got the contract for the Nashik section which is 115 km long. According to senior officials, bids have been floated to appoint consultants for DPR for the 165 km Aurangabad section, 128 km Nagpur section, and 80 km Konkan section.

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