NHAI's Ambitious 610-Km Varanasi-Kolkata Expressway To Be Operational By 2027
The six-lane Varanasi-Ranchi-Kolkata expressway is set to be operational by 2027, Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari informed the Parliament on 08 November.
Replying to a query in the Lok Sabha, the minister said that the Rs 22,500 crore project is targeted for completion by Financial Year 2026-27.
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has already floated global bids to build 160-km initial stretch, starting from Varanasi.
Passing Though Four States
The 610-km-long greenfield expressway has been planned under Bharatmala Pariyojna (BMP) Phase-2 to provide high-speed connectivity to the northern and eastern regions of the country
Starting at the junction of NH 19 and Varanasi Ring Road, the access-controlled expressway passes through Bihar and Jharkhand, before terminating at NH 16 near Uluberia in Howrah district in West Bengal.
About 159-km stretch of the expressway will pass through Bihar via Kaimur, Rohtas, Aurangabad and Gaya.
The road will enter Jharkhand via Chatra district and make an exit from Bokaro via Hazaribagh and Ramgarh to West Bengal’s Purulia district, after covering a distance of about 187 km.
From Purulia it will reach Kolkata connecting Bankura, West Medinipur, Hooghly and Howrah, covering a distance of 242 km in West Bengal.
Bids For 160 km
The first package involves 27-km stretch between Varanasi Ring Road and Chandauli-Chainpur road in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar at a cost of Rs 988.24 crore.
In the second package, the NHAI will select the contractor to build a 27-km stretch from Chandauli-Chainpur Road to junction with Bhabhua-Adhaura road in Bihar at a cost of Rs 945.24 crore.
In the third package, a 36-km stretch from junction with Bhabhua-Adhaura road to Konki village in Bihar will be built at cost of Rs 1,164.31 crore.
Similarly, the sixth and seventh package involves constructing 35.2-km and 33.5-km roads in Bihar at an estimated cost of Rs 1,170.48 crore and 1,131.14 crore respectively.
The bids for the fourth and fifth package are yet to be floated by the agency.
Construction of the expressway is set to commence in January 2023, as the work order will be allotted by next month. The NHAI has scheduled to select the qualified construction firm and allot the work order in last week of December this year.
All these packages are to be built on Hybrid Annuity Mode (HAM).
In this model, the NHAI, on behalf of the government, releases 40 per cent of the total project cost. It is given in five tranches linked to milestones. The balance 60 per cent is arranged by the developer.
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