Tender for Althara-Attakulangara stretch further extended by a week

Move comes following request of contractors who wanted to participate in bidding process
Image used for representational purposes.
Image used for representational purposes.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The tender opening date for the proposed smart road construction of Althara-Attakulangara road as part of the Smart City Mission project has been extended by one more week following the request of contractors who would like to participate in the bidding process. The tender, called for the fifth time, was to be opened on Thursday. However, some contractors reportedly approached the Kerala Road Fund Board (KRFB), the implementing agency, to extend the tender opening date. 

Sources close to KRFB said there is a positive response from contractors to take part in the bidding as the earlier plan of making it a concrete road was changed to a black-topped road with Indian Road Congress standards. The BM and BC tarring methods will be used for the project.

“Earlier, it was proposed as a white-topped concrete road, many constructors were reluctant to participate in the bidding process due to possible cost escalation. However, Sree Dhanya Constructions participated and quoted 40% higher than the cost fixed by the government. But it was evaluated by the government and rejected. Now that we have changed it to a black-topped road, many bidders are coming forward. We hope to select the bidder soon and begin the construction at the earliest,” said a senior KRFB official.

The 4.2-km road is the longest proposed smart road in the city. The construction of the smart road will be done by dividing it into two stretches -- the first from Althara to Chenthitta, which is 3km and the second from Killipalam to Attakulangara, which is 1.2km. As per the proposal, majority of the stretch will be converted to a four-lane road. However, some parts will be retained as two-lane. There will be street lights on the median for the entire stretch. The project was originally slated to be completed in June 2023.

However, the contractor failed to meet the deadline, leading to the cancellation of the contract by KRFB. Now, the deadline has been extended to June 2024. The widening and beautification of the Althara-Attakulangara stretch have been demanded by public for long. The project will also focus on development of Vazhuthacaud junction receiving a significant upgrade with footpaths and the electric cables being laid underground. One side of the road would be open for traffic movement when work is under construction on the other side. 

Earlier, the plan was to widen the Sri Moolam Club-Xanadu junction and Amman Kovil junction-Thycaud hospital stretch. The government gave the Trivandrum Development Authority responsibility for land acquisition, installing street lights, and constructing a median. However, it never moved forward due to legal issues. Later, the stretch was merged with the proposed Smart Road project.

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