Though formally launched in May, the massive road development programme - State Road Improvement Project (SRIP) is likely to begin only by March 2013.
The Rs 5,100-crore project aims at the development of 1,204-km state roads and major district roads. Road Infrastructure Company Kerala Ltd (RICK), the special purpose vehicle formed to execute SRIP, is looking for consultants to prepare DPR (detailed project report).
According to senior officials of RICK, consultants would be selected by January and tender proceedings will begin only by March. Bangalore-based Wilbur Smith Associates had identified the roads and categorised them into rehabilitation scheme and upgradation scheme.
Of the 1,204 km, 551 km would be considered for rehabilitation package and 653 km for upgradation package.
The rehabilitation package involves improvement of existing roads. As no land acquisition is involved in the rehabilitation package, the works for 551 km road are expected to begin at the earliest. However, Abdul Nasar, Chief Operating Officer of RICK, said that tender proceedings for SRIP would begin only after preparing DPR.
“We will select the consultants for preparing DPR by January. Around 12 consultants have expressed interest in the project. Tender proceeding is expected to begin only by March,” he said.
Under the rehabilitation scheme, the existing road geometry would be retained in order to avoid land acquisition and only pavement strengthening would be carried out with suitable traffic management devices such as road markings, signage, studs, and crash barriers.
The upgradation category involves widening of the carriageway with paved shoulders. This would require major land acquisition, the volume of which will be clear only after the DPR is prepared.
The SRIP requires Rs 1,100 crore for land acquisition and Rs 4,000 crore for road works, making the total cost to Rs 5,100 crore.
The Kerala Road Fund Board is the implementation agency of SRIP. It will be executed in an annuity mode.