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Tue, 23 Jul 2019

Northeast Today

Shillong-Dawki Bridge Project is Yet to Take off

Shillong-Dawki Bridge Project is Yet to Take off
November 01
13:18 2014

Almost five years after the foundation stone for a new Shillong-Dawki Bridge over the Umngot River was laid, the project is yet to take off. The then Union Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways, Mahadev Singh Khandela, had laid the foundation stone for the alternate bridge on November 13, 2009.

Unhappy over non-implementation of the project, the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has decided to implement the project on the Engineering-Procurement-Construction (EPC) mode, which is a form of contracting arrangement within the construction industry, to ensure its early completion.

“As per the directive of the Ministry, we have been asked to prepare fresh estimates for the construction of the bridge,” a senior PWD official informed here on Friday, adding that preparation of the fresh estimates was in its final stages. “We will be submitting the fresh estimates to the Ministry in the next few weeks,” the PWD official informed.

Explaining the nuances of the EPC mode, the PWD official informed that the bidders will prepare their own estimates. The work will be allotted to the selected firm by the Ministry after comparing the estimates prepared by the department and the bidders,” the official said.

Under the EPC mode, the contractor has to prepare the design of the project, procure all the necessary equipment and materials and then complete the work to deliver a functioning facility or asset to the client. “Companies that deliver EPC projects are commonly referred to as EPC contractors,” the official explained.

Earlier, PWD Minister Sniawbhalang Dhar had informed that the Union Government had taken the decision to implement the bridge project on EPC mode since the project had failed to take off due to absence of eligible bidders.

In 2010, three bidders had responded to the tender notice but all of them were rejected since their bid application did not adhere to the norms prescribed by the Ministry. The tender was recalled in 2011 but once again the same bidders only responded.

The 165-metre RRC bridge over Umngot river, once completed, will replace the existing single-lane British era suspension bridge that was built in 1932 as the overland link between the then province of East Bengal and Assam. The new bridge, estimated to cost Rs.23.12 crore, was earlier expected to be completed within 2011.

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