Overcoming a slew of issues, the World Bank-funded Kerala State Transport Project (KSTP) has floated tenders for the final Phase II works in the State on Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) mode.
Avoiding the Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode, the upgrade of the 82.13-km Punalur-Ponkunnam road has been tendered on EPC mode by splitting the corridor into three reaches.
The KSTP has floated the tenders after securing the nod of the World Bank and the Department of Economic Affairs.
The first reach will be the 29.84 km from Punalur to Konni, the second reach of 30.16 km will be from Konni to Placheri and the 22.17 km from Placheri to Ponkunnam will be the third reach.
Splitting the 82.13 km into three reaches is aimed at roping in different EPC contractors to take up the work and for timely completion of the upgrade of the State Highways (SH).
The EPC contractors who bag the work will have to maintain the corridor for five years after completion of the upgrade of the 82.13 km SH.
Official sources said an amount of Rs. 698.26 crore would be needed for the upgrade.
Already, 99.5% of the land needed for the road works has been acquired.
The KSTP authorities have been given a time frame of one-and-a-half years by the government to complete the Punalur-Ponkunnnam road.
All the works in the other corridors, taken up under the KSTP Phase II, are nearing completion.
Minister for Public Works, G. Sudhakaran has gone on record said that the World Bank has agreed in principle to extend the Phase II till April 2020 to complete the works, including the Punalur-Ponkunnam road.
Meanwhile, the government has accorded the sanction for the land value for acquisition of 67.89 hectares of land.
The Revenue Department has issued orders for completing the formalities of acquiring land in Chirakkadavu, Lalam, Meenachil and Ramapuram villages in Kottayam district.
The State government issued the order in the wake of the finding that the extent of land has been erroneously noted as Are instead of Cent for the development of the road.
The Phase II of the KSTP, kicked off in June 2013, aims at the upgrade of 367 km of State Highways spread over eight corridors to global standards at a cost of Rs. 2,403 crore.
All works in the other corridors taken up under the KSTP Phase II are nearing completion
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