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IRCON may bid for highways projects in SL

19 February 2015 10:51 am - 16     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The Indian Railways construction subsidiary IRCON International is poised to bid for highways construction projects in Sri Lanka breaking into an area which, during the previous regime of Mahinda Rajapaksa, seemed to be earmarked for Chinese companies.


An IRCON official told Express that the company had Indian and overseas experience in highways construction and will be quite happy to bid for projects in Lanka in the light of a recent cabinet decision to discuss Indian participation in highways development in the island nation.


The cabinet had approved a proposal by Highways Minister,  Kabir Hashim, to explore the possibility of entering into agreements with Indian agencies to execute road construction projects and signing MoUs during the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi  to Lanka in March.


Delineating the possibilities in highway development, Deputy Minister of Highways Eran Wickramaratne said that the government is reviewing all the Chinese aided projects and those which do not measure up to the desired norms will be put up for fresh bidding. To begin with the axe has fallen on the Northern Highway projects (between Colombo and Kandy and Colombo and Dambulla).


“Any party, whether local or foreign, can bid. Our criteria will be expertise, experience and ability to bring in finances,” Wickramaratne said.


This is in marked contrast to the situation under the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime when many of the major Chinese aided projects had been handed out without going for competitive bidding.   


The Chinese executed projects have received flak for being grossly overpriced. According to Dr. Amal S.Kumarage, Professor of Transport at the Moratuwa University, the accepted global norm is to charge US$ 7 million to 10 million per kilometer. But in Lanka, the price ranges from US$ 19 million to US$ 172 million per km. In India, the Mumbai-Nashik highway cost only US$ 4.9 million per km and the Mumbai-Vadodra highway was even less, at US$ 2.9 million per km.


Given IRCON’s good track record in railway construction in Lanka (IRCON’s lines are much cheaper than the Chinese ones), the Indian company should be able to put forth a competitive bid for the highway projects too. (Indian Express)
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  Comments - 16

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  • moodayoo Thursday, 19 February 2015 05:28 PM

    Oh noo.. Indian quality, just like TATA scraps. 30 years behind China quality standard.

    Nanda Thursday, 19 February 2015 05:46 PM

    Yes, give it to some professionally qualified bidders. These roads will be for next 2-3 generations to be coming though we pay the price. Indian quality is absolutely questionable.

    michael` Thursday, 19 February 2015 10:56 PM

    hi, even weather Chinese or Indian, they have to give local ob opportunities.But indian or chinese never recruit sri lankan for office work. They bring there own country people for expensive salaries

    kumaraya Thursday, 19 February 2015 06:09 PM

    How about Canada, Israel, Western Europe? AA Canadian construction company offered to do the 100 km Southern Expressway for UUSD 90 million, with cost over-runs guaranteed to accounted for and to exceed USD 14 million!!! Think about thatHow about Israelis, who make some of the very best highways in the world? Why just the Indians and Chinese!?

    Senator Thursday, 19 February 2015 07:39 PM

    Please no to India.See their roads and buildings crumbling often.Does Sri Lanka need this to maintain friendship?

    Jay Thursday, 19 February 2015 07:44 PM

    Kumaraya ... there is some thing call friendly countries ... we always work with our tartness ... Canadian government wont be helping if SL government does not do much to Tamil ppl they think about there Tamil voters in Canada. It is better to go with China they have really good rate loans ... not like IMF with all the constrain attached to it.

    Samantha Thursday, 19 February 2015 07:47 PM

    This is absurd. No to Indians please. You are now destroying the country again.

    lkboy Thursday, 19 February 2015 04:23 PM

    China out - India in?

    Abdul Thursday, 19 February 2015 04:26 PM

    give it to korea or japan. we can guess the quality of indian highways when we see their road system in india

    Freebird Friday, 20 February 2015 02:09 PM

    Pl visit the indian highways in india and decide via DM Android App

    Nish Thursday, 19 February 2015 04:41 PM

    urr are we trying to stagnate with India without going forward with countries that are actually progressing?

    kamal Thursday, 19 February 2015 04:41 PM

    “Any party, whether local or foreign, can bid. Our criteria will be expertise, experience and ability to bring in finances,” Selection will be done as per above. May both will be out even!

    Bindu Thursday, 19 February 2015 04:41 PM

    India is a good country great people. The reality is they are poor. If someone can pay for the construction they willl come and build the highways for us. Having seen Indian Highways they are of very poor quality. So I dont think Sri Lanka will gain anything other than lot of hot air expecting project financing from India.

    Dinusha Thursday, 19 February 2015 04:55 PM

    Good to have open tender rather than only china.. But the tender should include the required quality standards as well

    Kris Thursday, 19 February 2015 05:04 PM

    Please do not go for Indian contractors. The state of there highways are horrid. Pot Holes every where as a result of sub standard construction.

    Truth Thursday, 19 February 2015 05:23 PM

    Quality of Indian highway is really bad!!! Give it a second thought guys!!!


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