A new tendering process, rapid implementation and lower prices have reduced e-way costs



The Uttar Pradesh Expressways Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA), the nodal agency responsible for overseeing expensive infrastructure projects in the state, has implemented more than Rs 80,000 crore in infrastructure works, resulting in makes one of the largest such entities within any state. Awanish Awasthi, the director general of the authority, spoke to ET’s Vatsala Gaur. Edited excerpts:

On the changes made to the Purvanchal highway project after the BJP government came to power …

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had a grand design for highways based on the experience and strength of the two highways already present in the state. As a first step, we reworked the Purvanchal electronic channel project to minimize costs. We have changed the tendering process and canceled previous tenders. After the acquisition of the land, we made a single offer for the financial and technical parameters and obtained an offer that was 5% lower than the estimated cost of the project.

On the Purvanchal and Bundelkhand highways

Agra-Lucknow e-way, the whole project was funded by the government. In Purvanchal, however, the government’s exposure was 30% and the rest came from banks. For the first time, a large consortium of banks has been formed and over 10,000 crore in loans has been sanctioned. The Punjab National Bank is the lead bank of the consortium. We have already drawn about 7,000 crore from the banks. In the case of Bundelkhand e-way, the offers were almost 12% lower, so we saved Rs 1,230 crore just through the offers. We could also negotiate loans from banks at very low rates.

Thus, the savings on tenders, rapid implementation and discounted rates significantly reduced the cost of the project.

On the state of the two e-tracks …

Purvanchal e-way is 99% complete. The traffic is already activated. Prime Minister Narendra Modi called us “Express Pradesh” and we hope he will inaugurate the Purvanchal e-way in a month. We have solicited and received offers for tolls. It will be a source of income for us. Almost 75% of the Bundelkhand electronic route has been completed and in 2.5 months we expect to complete around 90% of the project. ‘

On the Gorakhpur Link highway and the Ganga highway …

The Gorakhpur Link electronic route is under construction between Gorakhpur and Azamgarh. It will also connect Gorakhpur to Lucknow, via Azamgarh. The CM had a vision of a Ganga e-way, which he announced after a Cabinet meeting at Kumbh. It will be 594 km long. We are going for a Build-OperateTransfer model and hope to receive the offers by the first week of November. The 42,000 crore project will be executed on the BOT concept which most governments, including the central government, are abstaining from. We intend to start construction by November-December. On the acquisition of land for the e-way… For the Bundelkhand e-way, we completed the acquisition of land in 4-5 months. Despite Covid, the farmers came forward and made the deed of sale. For Ganga e-way, more than 6,000 crore of land has been acquired and no complaints have been received.


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