Chief minister Akhilesh Yadav’s ambitious Agra-Lucknow Access Controlled Expressway (Green Field) Project received a major setback on Tuesday with no developers turning up for the final bids that were opened here this evening.
“We have not received any bids from any developers. We will seek directions from the state government for further action,” said a senior officer of the Uttar Pradesh Expressway Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA) that had invited bids for the project to be implemented on build operate transfer (BOT) toll model.
Six developers had earlier shown interest and submitted the request for qualification (RFQ) for short listing of developers earlier. Another officer said six developers that had shown interest in the project and submitted the RFQ included JP Infratech, Reliance Infrastructure, Indus Concessions, IL and FS Transportation Network Limited, Wellspun Leighton Consortium and Essel Infraprojects Limited.
“We have closed the bid process now. This project is very important to the state government. A decision about the model that may be adopted to implement the project will be taken at the highest level now,” he said.
What compelled the developers to stay away from submitting the Request for Proposals (RFP) for the project is the million dollar question doing rounds in the corridors of power here.
Another officer said the state government had gone for bidding for the project following the due procedure.
This would have made the developer eligible for the Viability Gap Funding for the project.
“With no developers turning up for the project, the state government may have to change the model and make the project more attractive,” said the officer.
When implemented, the nearly 270 km the six-lane (expandable to eight lanes) project would reduce the travel time between Agra and Lucknow to three hours.
With an estimated cost of Rs. 9155 crore (excluding the land cost), the project is expected to be complete in the next three years.