GUWAHATI, Oct 17 - Having failed to prod the contractors to fast-track the road four-laning works in the region even after initiating legal action, including some terminations, the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) has come up with a strategy shift to speed up the projects.
The NHIDCL has ousted four contractors so far in Assam and termination notices are looming over fourteen others in the region due to poor progress in the works allotted to them.
The 18.4-km Nagaon-Rangagara stretch � from which M/s TK Engineering was recently ousted � will now be broken into two projects.
�We will break the 18-km stretch, make two smaller projects and invite fresh tenders. This will encourage more competition as well as local participation,� an official told The Assam Tribune.
Most of the contractors engaged in the four-laning works have been citing lack of funds for the poor progress in the works.
TK Engineering has also got notices of termination on two other stretches it is engaged � the 26-km Jamuguri-Biswanath Chariali and the 57-km Biswanath Chariali-Gohpur. The Arunachal Pradesh-based firm is implementing the Biswanath Chariali-Gohpur four-laning work jointly with Ramky.
M/s GDCL has been slapped termination notice for poor progress in three contracts � 37-km Jorhat-Jhanji, 44-km Jhanji-Demow and 26-km Demow to Moran bypass. Simplex has got the termination notice for the 12-km Rangagara-Kaliabor Tiniali stretch. The other termination notices are for works in Nagaland (three), Arunachal Pradesh (three) and Sikkim (one).
While TK Engineering has gone to court over the notices, the NHIDCL has kept GDCL and Simplex on watch.
�They have made some commitments after getting the termination notice and we are considering them. We will watch the progress in the next two months and take a call. In case we have to terminate more firms, we may break the projects and make smaller ones like the Nagaon-Rangagara stretch,� the official said.
In a bid to pump in funds for the contractors, the NHIDCL is exploring the option of releasing the money to the contractors before time.
�Most of them are citing shortage of funds. We are considering giving money to them for the work done even though they have not reached the required stage for the disbursement. But the money will be given on interest, which will be higher than the prime lending rate of the banks,� the official said.