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KMP e-way: Deadline to complete project by June-end looks implausible

Four railway over-bridges, three major bridges still unfinished

india Updated: May 25, 2018 18:35 IST
Hitender Rao
Hitender Rao
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
KMP e-way,Kundli-Manesar-Palwal,KMP Expressway
The Kundli-Ghaziabad-Palwal (KGP) expressway has been completed in a record two-year period but its other half, the KMP e-way is only partially operational. (HT File )

The fresh rhetoric of the BJP government in Haryana that the much-delayed 136-km Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) expressway will become operational by June 30 seems to be a ruse to avoid embarrassment in view of the scheduled May 27 inauguration of Kundli-Ghaziabad-Palwal (KGP) expressway by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The KGP has been completed in a record two-year period but its other half, the KMP e-way is only partially operational. Though the 53-km Manesar-Palwal section got completed in March 2016 with the toll collection starting in July 2016, the 83-km Kundli-Manesar section is yet to be completed. The concessionaire has till May 20 achieved a physical progress of 83% for the Kundli-Manesar stretch.

On Tuesday, Haryana chief secretary DS Dhesi issued “strict directions” to officers to ensure that construction work of the KMP expressway gets completed by June 30. Project status documents, however, show that the June 30 deadline seems far-fetched.

Unfinished work

As per the official records, eight major structures on the e-way are yet to be completed. These include all the four railway over-bridges (RoBs), three out of six major bridges and one grade separator. The four ROBs are on Delhi-Ambala, Delhi-Rohtak, Gurgaon-Farrukhnagar and Delhi-Rewari-Jaipur railway tracks. “All these structures would take time for completion. The June 30 deadline looks implausible, The concessionaire though has assured us that he will try to get it completed,’’ said an official in know of the project details.

Besides, works like setting up embankments, laying of granular sub-base, wet mix macadam, dense bituminous macadam, bituminous concrete for road work also is unfinished, official said.

Essel Infra to complete project

The HSIIDC had awarded the work of development of access controlled Kundli-Manesar section to M/s Essel Infraprojects on July 31,2015 on build, operate and transfer basis. The agreement was executed on September 3, 2015. The initial completion deadline for the stretch was August 2018. However, due to delays in achieving financial closure, the project deadline was extended to February 2019. The concessionaire achieved financial closure on August 24, 2016, which is the commencement date of the project.

Jinxed project

The e-way project, which was first allotted to KMP Expressway Ltd during the previous Congress regime, had got derailed, being mired in sticky legal and financial complications. The previous Congress regime decided to go beyond the provisions of the concession agreement thereby terminating the concession agreement with mutual consent and giving the contract for construction of the project to a new company.

As a part of the bail-out plan, the Congress government decided termination payment of about Rs 1,300 crore to be paid to KMP Expressways and the project lenders by the new company which will get the contract to complete the project. However, the present BJP government rejected the move.

First Published: May 25, 2018 18:35 IST