GUWAHATI, Aug 29 - Spanish firm Corsan Corvium SA has lost its second NH four-laning project in Assam, with the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDCL) terminating the contract for the four-laning of the 44-km Jhanji-Demow stretch.
Noting the poor progress of works, the NHIDCL had earlier terminated the contract with the firm for four-laning of the 37.8-km Jorhat-Jhaji stretch. The firm had to forfeit 10 per cent of the project cost in both the cases � Rs 43 crore and Rs 46 crore respectively, NHIDCL Executive Director (Project) Ajay Ahluwalia told The Assam Tribune today, adding that both the projects were �terminally ill�.
The NHIDCL, which has already floated fresh tenders for the Jorhat-Jhaji stretch, will maintain the entire Jorhat-Demow section till new contractors are awarded the works. �We are in the process of preparing the estimates for the maintenance work,� the ED said.
Last week, the new Managing Director of NHIDCL NN Sinha, on his maiden visit to the State, had inspected the NH-37, travelling by road from Nagaon to Dibrugarh.
Sources said the MD had expressed displeasure at the progress of work in many sections and following his directions, notices have been served to TK Engineering Consortium Pvt Ltd for slipshod work on two highway stretches � the 18.4-km Nagaon bypass-Rangapara stretch (Rs 159.2 crore) and the Jamuguri-Biswanath stretch.
�In fact, we have concluded their contract for maintenance of the Nagaon bypass-Rangapara section. We will now rope in another contractor and maintain it at the cost and risk of TK Engineering,� Ahluwalia said.
Following directions from the new MD, notice of �intention to terminate� has also been slapped on Gannon Dunkerley Pvt Ltd which is executing the 26.9-km Demow-Moran four-laning work at a cost of Rs 294 crore.
�In case, if these firms do not pace up the work, we will be forced to take further action,� the ED warned, adding that the corporation from now on will review the progress of work regularly.
The four-laning work from Nagaon to Dibrugarh had been divided into eight sections. Progress in all these stretches has been extremely poor, triggering widespread criticism from public.
Corsan Corvium was awarded the Jorhat-Jhanji four-laning work in November, 2014 and it began work in January, 2015. It was also awarded the Jhanji-Demow stretch during the same time, and work progress till July 15 is just 0.76 per cent, though it was supposed to complete more than half of the work by November this year according to the contract agreement.
Meanwhile, though the land acquisition hurdles on a 5-km stretch near the Misa army camp are yet to be sorted out with the Ministry of Defence, the NHIDCL said the contractor (Simplex Infrastructure) on the 18.3-km Rangapara-Kaliabor stretch has been asked to start the work on the remaining portion.