Swiss challenge route for Punjab expressway
Punjab has received an unsolicited proposal from Reliance
Energy Ltd for developing a massive expressway connecting Pathankot in
Gurudaspur district to Ajmer in Rajasthan.
Speaking to Projectmonitor, a senior official of nodal agency Punjab
Infrastructure Development Board said that the expressway would pass through
Haryana to reach Rajasthan. In phase-I of the project, the expressway will be
developed up to the Punjab-Haryana border. The length and the cost will be
worked out once the alignment study is finalised.
Leading real estate developer Omaxe Ltd has also proposed to construct an
eight-lane ring road around Amritsar city.
For both the projects, PIDB has proposed to use the Swiss Challenge route
wherein competitive bids will be solicited from other prospective bidders and
the original proponents will be given a chance to match them.
Meanwhile, PIDB recently cleared diverse investment proposals worth Rs 20,000
crore that will be developed using the public-private partnership route. Amongst
the proposals cleared in the roadway sector is the 99-km Mohali-Phagwara
expressway expected to cost Rs 2,161 crore. The project will require 2,470 acres
of land estimated to cost Rs 500 crore.
Another expressway planned will connect Mohali to Baddi, the developing
industrial belt in Solan district of Himachal Pradesh. The 66-km stretch will
cost Rs 2,660 crore, with 3 km lying in the neighbouring state.
The Swiss Challenge method is used to award unsolicited (or suo moto) proposals
that are suggested by the private sector to the government. The occurrence of
such proposals, though not very common in India, is widely seen in some
countries like Chile, South Korea and Philippines to name a few. Some countries
even have a separate ministry to deal with such proposals. Under the Swiss
Challenge, the government gives challengers an opportunity to make better offers
that the original proponent, and then gives the original proponent a chance to
In early 2006, the GMR Group had submitted a suo moto proposal and a financial
bid for a 11.6-km elevated corridor to provide connectivity to the new Hyderabad
international airport. The Andhra Pradesh had proposed to use the Swiss
Challenge route to award this project, but later went in for the conventional
[June 2-8, 2008]