Delayed by more than five years now, the 136km-long Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) Expressway has got a fresh lease of life with the Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC) inviting international competitive bids on a ‘build, operate and transfer’ (BOT) basis for completion of the remaining project.
HSIIDC is the executing agency of the development of the expressway. According to the bid document, the total cost of the project has been pegged at `2259 crore. The bid closes on March 20.
The project, which was scheduled to be operational in July 2009, is only 68 % complete, primarily due to holdups caused by the existing concessionaire - M/s KMP Expressways Ltd - a consortium having M/s DS Constructions as the lead partner.
The fresh bids have been invited by the HSIIDC after the Supreme Court ordered on January 30, 2015 that the state government should take appropriate steps to award the contract to a new concessionaire within two months.
“The new concessionaire should commence the work within a month thereafter. For no reason would we extend the time limit that we have fixed today,” said the apex court which is monitoring the progress of the Expressway. The SC also said its order will not come in the way of the previous concessionaire to agitate their claims or that of the Haryana government/HSIIDC before the arbitrator. “All questions are left open to be agitated before the arbitrator,” the apex court said.
Haryana officials said M/s KMP Expressways repeatedly failed to meet the extended deadlines for completing the project on one pretext or another. Following delays and the concessionaire’s inability to keep up the flow of funds, the IDBI bank, which is the lead banker for the project, had served M/s KMP Expressways with a substitution notice. This implied that the lenders had decided to step in for substitution of the concessionaire on account of its flagrant and continued defaults in its financial and other obligations.
The Bharatiya Janata Party government in Haryana had earlier disapproved the amount of `1300 crore fixed by the previous Congress regime as payment for terminating the concession agreement with the existing concessionaire for the delayed project.
The new government said the termination payment needs to be revisited in light of three different evaluations done.
A long wait for the expressway
Project length: 136 km
Completion deadline: July 29, 2009.
Money spent on construction:
Approximately `800 crore
Why has the project delayed: Failure of the contractor, its inability to keep flow of funds.
Current status: The contractor has now been thrown out of the project by Supreme Court.