Kerala govt likely to retender Althara-Attakulangara road work

Lone company Sree Dhanya Constructions Limited, which participated in the tender process, quoted an amount 40% higher than the bid amount
The construction of utility duct in progress at Althara Junction in Thiruvananthapuram as part of the smart road development from Althara junction to Thycaud | Vincent Pulickal
The construction of utility duct in progress at Althara Junction in Thiruvananthapuram as part of the smart road development from Althara junction to Thycaud | Vincent Pulickal

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:  The development of the Althara-Attakulangara road via Vazhuthacaud and Thycaud as a smart white-topped road under the Smart City Mission project is currently facing uncertainty due to the high amount quoted by the bidders.

The tender for the project was opened by the Kerala Road Fund Board (KRFB) two weeks ago, but only one company, Sree Dhanya Constructions Limited, participated in the process. However, their quoted amount is 40% higher than the bid amount, leading to the tender being under consideration by the state government.

Sources close to KRFB suggest that the government may decide to re-tender the project due to the high quote. Nevertheless, negotiations with the contractor are ongoing in an attempt to finalise the amount. If the government is not satisfied with the negotiations, the project may be retendered, further delaying its implementation.

“Since the bidders quoted an amount higher than 10% of the bid amount proposed by Smart City Thiruvananthapuram Limited (SCTL), the documents were handed over to the state government for approval. The possibility of returning the project is higher as the rate quoted by the company is much higher. However, the negotiation process is ongoing, and we are making every effort to negotiate to commence the road work as soon as possible,” said a top official of SCTL.

The onset of the monsoon season poses an additional challenge for starting the construction work even if the government approves the project. The original deadline for completing the Althara-Attakulangara stretch, the longest smart road, was in June. However, the contractor failed to meet the deadline, leading to the cancellation of the contract by KRFB. A fresh tender was recently initiated to expedite the project.

The development of the Althara-Attakulangara road will be carried out in two phases. In the first phase, the stretch from Althara junction to the Thycaud overbridge near the Government Hospital for Women and Children will be made ‘smart.’ The second phase will involve the development of the road from Thycaud to Attakulangara. The widening and beautification of the stretch from Althara to Attakulangara have long been demands of the public. 

The project will also focus on the development of the Vazhuthacaud junction. The 2.5-kilometre road will receive a significant upgrade with a white concrete topping, streetlights on the median, and underground cables.

Manaveeyam, Kalabhavan Mani Roads likely to be reopened in a month

Regarding other road refurbishment projects, the Manaveeyam Road, known as the cultural corridor of the capital, is likely to be opened to the public in mid-July. The ongoing revamp work is progressing well. The road and footpath works will be finished within a month. Similarly, the Kalabhavan Mani Road, which also experienced delays due to the smart road construction, is expected to be reopened within a month.

“The construction work for revamping Manaveeyam Road is progressing fast. Despite intermittent rains, the work is going on. The street light installation on the corridor is completed, and the lights were lit as part of a demonstration on Thursday. The remaining construction, like road tarring and footpath construction by laying tiles, will be completed within a month, “ the SCTL official said. 

The tender for the refurbishment of Manaveeyam Road was awarded to Sabu, an individual contractor, while the work on Kalabhavan Mani Road has been assigned to ULCCS (Uralungal Labour Contract Co-operative Society) Limited.

SCTL officials had previously attributed the delay in the work on Manaveeyam Road to the redesigning of the stretch. The new design focuses on pedestrian-friendliness, allows partial traffic, and incorporates open spaces for cultural events. The road, which is approximately 70% complete, will now be completed according to the new design and opened to the public.

Negotiations on

  • Since the quoted amount is 10% higher than the bid amount proposed by SCTL, the documents were handed over to the state government for approval
  • Negotiations with the contractor are ongoing in an attempt to finalise the amount

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