No Bidders to repair Tindharia NH55 road

damaged portion of NH55 in Tindharia
Repairs on the NH55 at Tindharia, where a 2010 landslide has made a key road to the hills defunct, have not taken off for lack of bidders to the tenders floated by the state government.
PWD officials said two tenders had been floated but no one was interested, despite a Rs 75-crore central allocation, as the project has to be done in the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) mode in which time for completion of the project and the cost is fixed.
The NH55 that links Darjeeling hills to the rest of Bengal has been lying ununsed since June 2010 after a landslide swept away 500meters of the highway at Paglajhora, about 35km from here. In September the same year, around 200 meters of the highway collapsed at Tindharia after heavy rain.
The Paglajhora stretch of the road was repaired last year. Toy train tracks in Tindharia were also repaired, but the highway repairs have seen little progress.
According to Ajay Singh, the executive engineer of state PWD (NH division IX), two tenders were floated last year and this year but they failed to attract bidders for the Tindharia repair project. "The Union ministry sanctioned Rs 75 crore for the restoration of NH55 at Tindharia in October last year. We floated tenders immediately after that but it drew no bidders. A second tender was floated but that too did not get any bidders. This is the reason that the work on the highway at Tindharia has not started till now. We are in the process of floating a fresh tender and hope that construction agencies will come forward and take up the project," Singh said.
Funds had been sanctioned for repairs at Tindharia in 2013 and Calcutta-based Bharat Banijya Eastern Private Limited was selected for the purpose.
However, Union minister of road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari terminated the project in February last year because there had been no significant progress in the restoration work at the site even a year and a half after the funds had been sanctioned.
The fund of Rs 75 crore was sanctioned after the state PWD sent fresh proposals to the Union ministry.
Sources in the state PWD said contractors prefer to work in the Bill of Quantity mode in which there were separate cost estimates for different tasks in a project and there is scope of revising cost estimates if the extent of damage and cost of materials and manpower increase.
"The reason that may be deterring the bidders is that the work will have to be taken up in the EPC mode where the time and cost of completing the project is fixed. The damaged zone at Tindharia is prone to landslides and we have witnessed in the past few years that the extent of the damage increases after every monsoon and the site now resembles a steep gorge. Extensive repairs involving complex building techniques to reconstruct the damaged portion have to be undertaken and it will take more than a year to complete the project. The site may face fresh damage during the monsoon in this period. There are chances of landslides and the cost of materials and manpower may increase. But as there is no scope of revision of estimates for fresh damage and cost escalation, it will not be feasible for the construction companies (to raise costs)," a state PWD official said.
When operational, the NH55 was mostly used by heavy vehicles carrying food and supplies to the Darjeeling hills from the plains.
These vehicles now travel to Darjeeling via Rohini, Mirik and Mungpoo.
People living in areas near the landslide-affected areas take short-cut routes of narrower and steeper gradient via Gayabari to avoid damaged portion of the highway.(TT)

Repairs on the NH55 at Tindharia, where a 2010 landslide has made a key road to the hills defunct, have not taken off for lack of bidders to the tenders floated by the state government.

Read latest post filed under regional news

Post a Comment

We love to hear from you! What's on your mind?


Contact Form


Email *

Message *

Powered by Blogger.