• NHAI revives tender process for Bengaluru-Mysuru Expressway

    The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has revived the tender process to turn the existing Bengaluru-Mysuru highway (NH 275) into a six lane expressway, raising hopes among tens of thousands of people travelling between the two cities.

    The NHAI is awarding the public-private partnership (PPP) project under the hybrid annuity model (DBOT annuity) and has floated request for proposal from private developers, giving them time till April 4 to respond. This is the second attempt by NHAI to put the much-delayed project back on track. The highways authority had, on December 6, cancelled the tender, floated under the DBFOT model, without assigning any reason. However, it is now clear that the tender was cancelled to change the model of contract.

    The NHAI has divided the project into two packages of 56.2 km (Bengaluru-Nidagatta) and 61.1 km (Nidagatta-Mysuru).The revised estimates show the 117-km stretch project could cost ` . 4,153 crore, a drop by Rs 342 crore from earlier estimates. The land acquisition for the project is already completed.

    The splitting of the contract, engineers say, will help the NHAI complete the project sooner as two developers will be able to start the work simultaneously from both north and south end of the long stretch. The contractors will require about 24 months to complete the project, and the NHAI may be able to commission in 2020.

    In the DBFOT model, while the successful bidder bears the entire project cost (minus land acquisition), the hybrid annuity model will involve NHAI funding 60% of the cost, while the partner will bring in the balance equity.

    The change in the PPP model type, according to an official, also had to do with the market conditions, and the NHAI did not want to confront a situation of fewer developers bidding under the DBFOT model for this highly lucrative project.Hybrid annuity is not only seen as a good model, would also attract several bids, experts say.

    The banks too will readily respond to fund the project. The developer will not carry any toll risk which will be handled by the NHAI. The developer will get a fixed rate of return for his investment, they say.The Ministry of Highways has assigned top priority to the project in view of the rising vehicular traffic between the two cities in Karnataka. Mysuru is also the home district of chief minister Siddaramaiah.

    The new expressway, when operational, is expected to cut the travel time between Bengaluru and Mysuru to 90 minutes, and that would cheer the IT industry, among others. Mysuru has not been able to attract investments in the IT sector in spite of Infosys landing there a decade ago.

    The expressway, when commissioned, will have 10-lanes including two-lane service roads on either side, and three-lane main carriageway in each direction. The expressway will come up between the Panchamukhi temple after NICE road in Bengaluru and Columbia Asia hospital junction in Mysuru.  Clay Harbor Womens Jersey

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