The developers were selected after the evaluation committee opened financial bids for the 296-km Bundelkhand Expressway and the 91-km Gorakhpur Link Expressway yesterday, a day after the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and ally Apna Dal (S) won eight of the 11 seats in the state by-elections.
According to nodal agency UP Expressway Development Authority (UPEIDA) CEO Awanish Kumar Awasthi, the government stands to save Rs 1,229 crore on the civil contracts, owing to the submission of lowest bids under the competitive bidding process.
The state government had divided the two projects in different packages for speedier and simultaneous development, and the bids were also submitted separately for these packages.
While, the total cost of the two expressways is pegged at Rs 20,000 crore, including land, the UPEIDA had estimated civil works expenditure alone to cost Rs 8,898 crore and Rs 3,122 crore (total Rs 12,020 crore) for Bundelkhand and Gorakhpur Link expressways respectively.
However, the selection of lowest bids has now reduced the cost of the Bundelkhand stretch to Rs 7,767 crore and the Gorakhpur link to Rs 3,024 crore, brnging down the total cost to Rs 10,791 crore, and giving rise to a saving of Rs 1,229 crore.
For the Bundelkhand Expressway, which was divided into six packages, the government has selected Apco Infratech, Ashoka Buildcon, Gawar Construction and Dilip Buildcon to develop the project, which is aimed at ushering in faster socioeconomic development in the arid zone and provide direct connectivity to central and western UP.
So far, UPEIDA has acquired more than 93% of the required 3,641 hectares for Bundelkhand Expressway, which would cut across Jhansi, Banda, Hamirpur, Mahoba, Jalaun, Auraiya and Etawah districts, and touch Agra-Lucknow Expressway at Etawah.
For the Gorakhpur Link Expressway, which was divided into two packages, the state has selected the lowest bidders Apco Infratech and Dilip Buildcon. It spans Gorakhpur, Sant Kabir Nagar, Ambedkar Nagar and Azamgarh districts. More than half the required land has been acquired for the project.
Now, the proposal for the formal award of contract to the selected developers would be placed before the state cabinet for approval.
Earlier, the technical bids for these projects were opened last month, in which top companies had evinced interest, including Larsen & Toubro (L&T), Afcons Infrastructure, Megha Engineering, PNC Infratech, NCC etc.
Currently, nine big projects are under various stages of development across UP under UPEIDA, namely, Agra-Lucknow Expressway, Purvanchal Expressway, Bundelkhand Expressway, Gorakhpur Link Expressway, Ganga Expressway, Ballia Link Expressway, Defence Manufacturing Corridor, Semi High-speed Rail Corridor and electric charging stations.
The state government is funding these projects with a mix of equity and debt by providing budgetary allocations apart from souring funds from banks as long-term loans