The Road Transport and Highways Ministry will seek Cabinet approval by month-end for adopting EPC mode for awarding contracts in the 12th Plan period (2012-17) to minimise cost and time overruns in projects.
The Ministry has proposed awarding contracts for 20,000 km of roads under the EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) in the next five years, in addition to the schemes under PPP (public, private, partnership) mode.
"The EPC final draft is ready, we have sought suggestions from stakeholders including select state governments, contractors, consulting firms etc by July 16 and after that it would go to the Cabinet latest by this month end," Road Transport Secretary A K Upadhyay told reporters here.
An inter-ministerial panel has finalised a draft against the backdrop of differences between the Road Transport Ministry and the Planning Commission over the mode.
The EPC mode of construction is based on international best practices and is aimed at minimising problems of time and cost overruns.
A sample analysis of 20 National Highway projects executed on item-rate contracts shows that they took, on an average, 61 months to complete as against 29 months taken by projects executed through PPP, which generally adopted the EPC mode for project execution, according to the draft.
"Further, these projects had cost overruns of an average 48% (ranging from 25-183%) besides large volumes of foregone toll revenues on account of delayed completion," it added.
Earlier in the day, Road Minister C P Joshi chaired a meeting of CEOs of automobile industry to address issues on transportation and safety besides overloading of commercial vehicles.