Hindustan Construction Company Ltd, in joint venture with Hyderabad-based Vensar Constructions Company Ltd, has been awarded a Rs.1,114-crore contract by the Public Works Department (PWD) of Government of Manipur. HCC’s share in the contact is 73 per cent or Rs.813 crore.

The contract, scheduled for completion in 42 months, is for construction of Imphal-Kangchup-Tamenglong highway which is a part of Asian Highway No1. This project is backed by Asian Development Bank. This part of the highway starts at Imphal City and ends at Tamenglong covering a total length of 111 km.

The Imphal-Kangchup-Tamenglong highway provides shortest connectivity from Manipur to “East West Corridor” of the NHAI. The highway will also reduce the distance from Guwahati (in Assam) to Imphal (capital of Manipur) by at least 90 km as compared to the existing route via Dimapur in Nagaland. The highway passes through districts of West Imphal and Tamenglong connecting major settlements of Imphal, Kangchup, Haochong, Bhalok and Tamenglong. The initial 15 km of the highway, from Imphal to Kangchup, is an existing road in plain terrain, whereas alignment between Kangchup to Tamenglong (about 96 km) is new a greenfield alignment located mostly in the mountainous terrain.

This is HCC’s sixth order in FY16 with the aggregate value of the six orders being Rs.4,520 crore. Besides, the company is lowest bidder in seven projects worth Rs 5,132 crore. The combined order backlog is likely to cross Rs.21,000 crore in FY16, a release from HCC said.

Land issues

In a telephonic interaction with Projectmonitor, a senior official of Manipur PWD emphasized that the new highway was of strategic importance to Manipur and that the project was targeted to be flagged off in March itself. Regarding land, the official said that an agreement has been reached with landowners and most of the land required for the project would be “donated” by village landowners who are seeking minimum compensation only for structures affected and not for the land per se.

Incidentally, the Imphal-Kangchup-Tamenglong highway project also includes the construction of the 46-km Imphal Ring Road that was tendered as a separate package. The PWD official explained that due to inability to secure land, the bidding for this project was scrapped, adding that the future course of action depended on the progress made on the land acquisition front. As of now, the tendering process is likely to revive only next year.

–Venugopal Pillai


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