Showing posts with label RC70. Show all posts
Showing posts with label RC70. Show all posts

April 26, 2018

Billion $ Motorway


Ralph Riegel

THE €1 billion M20 Cork-Limerick motorway moved a step closer with the Government formally seeking tenders for the design of the critical route.
The motorway development will rank as the biggest roads project and one of the biggest infrastructural investments undertaken by Ireland to 2028.
Senator Kieran O'Donnell confirmed that the tender for the design of the 105km motorway route has now formally gone to tender.
The €8m contract will see design engineers contracted to complete the route outline and bring the mammoth project to An Bord Pleanala.
At that point, contractors for the construction of the motorway will be appointed.
"This is a very good news story - the M20 is back on track," Sen O'Donnell said.
"This involves a formal tender process for €8m to design the motorway and take it as far as the An Bord Pleanala stage."
"The M20 is required for a number of reasons - there have been a number of accidents along the N20 so it is clearly needed from a safety point of view."
Sen O'Donnell said the M20 was also vital given efforts by Cork and Limerick to attract major international events such as the Ryder Cup bid by Adare Manor in Limerick.
Last year the Government were accused of treating Limerick and Cork residents like "fools" after allocating just €1m for the key motorway development - which equates to the construction cost of just 125 metres of the 105km route.
Cork and Limerick Co Councils had expressed concerns that, at the current
rate of project funding, the motorway linking the two cities may be stalled far beyond the 2023 target.
Councillors in both Cork and Limerick had reacted angrily to the continuing failure to provide major funding for the project - with Councillor Frank O'Flynn warning that delays could threaten the long-term economic development of Ireland's second and third cities.
"This is absolutely vital - how an earth can cities like Cork and Limerick act as a counterweight to Dublin if they aren't even properly connected by road," he said.
Ireland South MEP Sean Kelly also expressed frustration at what he said, up until now, was "a lack of urgency" over one of the most strategic motorway projects
now facing the State.
Cork and Limerick business interests had also expressed alarm at proposals to save €340m on the motorway by diverting it through Tipperary along part of the existing M8 Cork-Dublin motorway.
Mr Kelly said Ireland had to demonstrate its commitment to regional development.
"We were quite happy to use European funding to build motorways connecting Dublin with the cities of Ireland," he said.
"But there seems to be no urgency in connecting the cities with one another."
"You have the second biggest city in Ireland, Cork, not being connected by motorway with the second biggest city in Munster, Limerick."
"That is actually a no-brainer - it has to happen. The sooner it happens the better."
There were growing fears that construction work on the proposed €1bn M20 motorway from Cork through Mallow, Buttevant, Charleville, Croom and Raheen to Limerick may not begin for almost a decade.
Government planners had examined the Tipperary 'short cut' option on the basis that it would also offer the double advantage of creating a key segment of the M24/N24 Limerick-Tipperary-Rosslare motorway.
While no formal proposal has yet been made, it is understood Government planners are considering alternatives to the existing M20 route through Mallow, Charleville, Croom and Raheen because of its estimated €840m to €1 billion construction cost.
A Cork-Limerick route through Mallow, Charleville and Croom is 105km long.
However, a spur from Cahir in Tipperary, off the main M8 Dublin-Cork motorway, to Limerick is just 63km.
At an average motorway construction cost of €8m per km, according to Engineers Ireland figures, that would represent a cost saving of €340m for the Government.
However, whereas the direct Cork-Limerick route is 105km, any new diverted motorway via Cahir would involve a total distance between Ireland's second and third cities of 141km.
Cork and Limerick politicians and business associations have insisted that only a Cork-Mallow-Charleville-Croom-Limerick corridor for the M20 was workable.
The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) warned that a motorway linking Ireland’s
second and third cities was vital if regional urban centres were to act as a strategic counter-weight to Dublin.
Both cities have campaigned for the motorway for the past 25 years.
Sections of the existing N20 route between Cork and Limerick have been described as amongst the most accident-prone stretches of primary roadway in Ireland.
The section between Mallow and Charleville is believed to have the highest rate of fatal accidents of any route in Ireland.
Sections of the N20 around Blarney and Waterloo have also been the focus of multiple serious accidents the latest of which occurred on Monday when a US tourist was seriously injured at exactly the same spot where two US tourists were killed last September.
IBEC economist, Fergal O’Brien, warned last year it was particularly astonishing that Ireland wasn’t availing of historically low interest rates to tackle major capital projects that would have obvious long-term economic benefits.
“The M20 is a perfect candidate for a PPP approach,” he said.
The proposed motorway aims to slash 30 minutes from the commute time between Ireland’s second and third largest cities and remove some of the most dangerous stretches of single-carriageway primary road in the country.
It was hoped the motorway would also ease congestion with major bypasses of towns like Mallow, Buttevant, Charleville and enhance access to areas like Croom and Raheen.

April 17, 2018

Project Delays

Another year of delays along Highway 401 in SDG and Cornwall

By Marc Benoit, Special to the Cornwall Standard-Freeholder
<p>Projects in the works for 2018 along Highway 401 in Cornwall and SDG. Map produced by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.</p><p>
Handout/Cornwall Standard-Freeholder/Postmedia Network
Projects in the works for 2018 along Highway 401 in Cornwall and SDG. Map produced by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.
Handout/Cornwall Standard-Freeholder/Postmedia Network
Drivers can expect to spend a bit more time in traffic this summer as  they navigate Highway 401 through SDG.
SDG council heard from representatives from the Ministry of Transportation on Monday, as six major construction projects along the 401 corridor are planned for 2018, alongside 20 major projects provincewide. The projects are expected to create delays and frustrations for drivers, which the Ministry of Transportation is hoping to address.
Frank Pinder and Mike Delugt presented the MTO plan for southern Ontario highways, and answered questions and concerns from staff members and councillors in relation to the detours and delays planned for the summer.
Wales Road underpass and Avonmore Road underpass near Long Sault are slated for construction work, along with the Pitt Street overpass, the Bainsville Road underpass, the South Raisin River culvert, and paving along the stretch between Lancaster and Cornwall. Of these, the Avonmore Road work is a carryover from the 2017 season. It was initially supposed to be complete last year.
Each project will require a 12-hour closure in each direction, leading to an increased volume of traffic on local roads.
SDG staff members and councillors expressed concern over the impact the closures may have on the community. It will also be another summer — the third or fourth — that there is Highway 401 construction taking place within SDG and Cornwall.
Couns. Jim Bancroft and Tammy Hart pressed the delegation from the MTO about the Avonmore project, as it had been originally slated for completion last year. Due to issues with the tender, the project has carried over to the current season.
“Avonmore Road is still closed and that’s a big concern,” said Ben de Haan, director of planning for SDG. “That’s meant disruption for the residents. It impacts how we plow the roads, patrol, and maintain them. So there is quite a bit of impact, even if it’s a little each day.”
The company tasked with completion of the project, Cruickshank Construction, is the same company in charge of completing the Wales Road project. de Haan noted there is concern at the municipal level the company will not be able to complete the project on time, leading to a similar situation as Avonmore.
“We want assurances that the road will be open before winter,” said de Haan.
To better prepare motorists for the summer of detours and delays, the MTO is promoting its Twitter feed as a way to stay informed, along with the Ontario 511 website, alongside digital signage posted along the Highway 401.
“Drivers will have the information they need to plan ahead,” said Delugt.
As part of the Southern Highways Program rolled out by the provincial government, the MTO had to scale back the number of projects across the province for the current season.

April 2, 2018

Pan Borneo Highway- A Game Changer

Singapore Bitumen Supplier
BINTULU: After waiting for nearly five decades, the dream of the people of Sabah and Sarawak of having a modern highway cutting across two of Malaysia’s largest states is finally being realised, with the Pan-Borneo Highway expected to be completed within five years.

Spanning 1,089km from Telok Melano and Sematan to Lawas, the mega project was initiated by the Barisan Nasional government under Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, with an allocation of RM14.2 billion for the Sarawak portion alone.

The first phase of the project — Pan-Borneo Highway Sarawak — was officially launched by the prime minister in Bintulu on March 31, 2015. Construction along a 43km-stretch from Nyabau to the Bakun junction began soon after.

The largest infrastructure development project in the state was announced by Najib as part of the ruling coalition’s manifesto in the 13th General Election (GE13).

It made history as the first highway project, with a four-lane dual carriageway of JKR R5 standard, to be built toll-free.

The highway is expected to spur local development and enhance the people’s socio-economic status, including through the creation of many new towns along the highways and boosting the tourism sector.

“It (highway) will bring a lot of changes to Sarawak, not just in the context of development, but also by boosting the socio-economic level of its people,” said Najib.

His confidence is based on the success of the North-South Expressway (PLUS) project, which had brought numerous developmental impacts from Johor all the way to Perlis.

Najib, who is also BN chairman, said the project was seen as an “agent of change” which would be capable of bringing changes to the development of the state, especially in the rural areas and contribute positively to the socio-economy of the people, such as creating jobs and business opportunities.

In terms of implementation, he said, it benefited the local contractors through the Project-Deliver Partnerships (PDP) method, in particular Sarawak’s Bumiputera companies.

The mega project is seen as part of efforts to bridge the development gap between the Peninsula and Sabah and Sarawak, and as such, is being closely monitored to ensure it will be completed on schedule to avoid the people in both states being left waiting.

A check by the New Straits Times Press (NSTP) showed that the construction work on the first phase, involving the Nyabau to Simpang junctions, was proceeding smoothly.

A resident, Kizie Matusup, 36, said the construction of the highway was a blessing as it would make it easier for people to travel from the north to the south of the state, which was currently a half day’s journey.

“We need about 12 to 13 hours to travel from Kuching to Miri. It takes us longer during peak seasons, which is exhausting.

“Sometimes, we need to make a stop overnight in Sibu before continuing our journey, which increases our travel expenses.

“Once the highway is completed, we expect the travel time to be reduced by at least half,” he said.

The construction of the highway, which began three years ago, has already started contributing to economic growth, particularly the local food and beverage business as well as shops selling daily necessities and other local products.

In Sarawak, the 11 work packages under the first phase of the highway are being implemented accordingly, with the majority involving the upgrading of the federal road from two to four lanes, except the Melano-Sematan route.

The 32.7km-long road was a new route constructed upon the request of the late chief minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem, consisting of bridges and other facilities such as rest and recreation stops.

As for Sabah, it involves 35 work packages worth RM12.8 billion, which begins from Sindumin, Sipitang to Tawau with seven packages implemented between April 2016 and December last year.

Borneo Highway PDP (BHP) Sdn Bhd managing director Shahelmey Yahya said the handover of the remaining project package to the contractor was expected to be completed by the end of June, with 10 of them on the west coast, while another 18 packages were in the central and east coast of Sabah.

“As of March, 10 new packages have been approved by the Finance Ministry.

“Four more packages are pending approval of allocation, while 14 packages are in the tender process and the preliminary engineering assessment phase,” he said.

The project also involves the construction of three new routes, namely, Putatan-Inanam known as Kota Kinabalu Outer Ring Road (KKOR), the Tuaran-Kudat Coastal Road and the Lahad Datu Bypass.

Shahelmey said based on current developments, the supply of construction materials was sufficient, thus, he was confident that the project could be completed on schedule.

He gave his assurance that the implementation of the project was proceeding smoothly after the tender process and the packages had been handed over to the appointed contractors.

“If there are any problems, it may have been due to weather conditions and land acquisition processes that delayed the work, but we have reminded all contractors to resolve the minor issues immediately to ensure that the project can be completed on schedule,” he said.

- NST

March 28, 2018

Contractor's Bankruptcy Stalls Projects

The Guwahati Jal Board, which is looking after the ongoing water projects in the city, has asked Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority to float new tenders for the pipeline works after the Hyderabad-based contractor, IVRCL Pvt Ltd, went bankrupt.
This has further pushed the completion date for the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) assisted South Central Guwahati Water Supply Project in which IVRCL was conducting the pipe laying works by at least one year.
“The entire process of floating the tender again and then waiting for new parties to apply for the tender, conducting the scrutiny of the prospective contractors and then making a selection will take at least a year’s time. It might take more too,” an official of GMDA told G Plus.
The project was commissioned in 2012 and was supposed to be completed in 28 months, but had been missing deadlines ever since - in 2015 and then, December 2017. The current commissioning date was slated for October 2019.
IVRCL had completed about 67% of the pipe laying works so far with 800 kms out of a total of 1,200 kms already laid. The total area of pipeline network is 775 square kms.

The project that had a total budget of Rs 1,636.28 crores – Rs 1,363.28 crore loan from JICA and the rest Rs 273 crores from the state government – when completed will provide 191 million litres of potable water daily in south central Guwahati.
The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Hyderabad had ordered the commencement of a corporate insolvency resolution process against IVRCL on February 23 vide an order – C P (IB) No 294/7/HDB/2017. The tribunal made the copy of the order ready for communication on March 3, 2018.
On March 3, all the assets of the company was handed over to the Interim Resolution Professionals (IRP) vide Section 18 (1) of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 to look into speedy and proper repayment to the company’s corporate debtors.
The IVRCL was rendered bankrupt due to its inability to repay a loan amount of around Rs 600 crores to a public sector bank.
“This was an unexpected development. When this company was awarded the contract, it was one of the best when it came to water supply projects. It was working on several other ongoing projects at that time. Not only will this project get affected, several other projects going on in different parts of the country will also be affected,” S Venkatesan, managing director of Guwahati Metropolitan Water & Sewage Board under the Guwahati Jal Board that is looking over the completion of the project, said.

“We can however contain the damage to a certain extent if we can properly utilise our other contractors and speed up other works. The works for water intake point and construction of reservoir need to be done on war footing and be completed by this monsoon,” Venkatesan added.
Besides IVRCL, other private and government construction agencies such as Gamon India Ltd, M/S IVRCL Infrastructure and Project Ltd, Viswa BRCCPL (Jevi), JWIL Renhill (Jevi), Zindal Show Ltd, Electro Steel Casting Ltd, APDCL and NJS Consultant Company Ltd were also involved in the South Central Guwahati Water Supply Project.
According to the website of the company, IVRCL has completed at least 18 water supply projects in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Kerala, Maharashtra, Telangana, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh.
IVRCL was also working on the Trans Arunachal Highway project – the project for development of roads and highways of Arunachal Pradesh - in which it was widening the existing 2-lane national highway standard roads along with improvement and re-alignment works from Nechipu to Hoj, via Seppa, Khodaso and Saggalee of Arunachal Pradesh.

Besides South Central Guwahati, the JICA is also assisting on the North Guwahati water supply project that will provide 38 million litres daily (MLD) at North Guwahati while the Asian Development Bank is funding South Eastern water supply project that will supply 98 MLD water and the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission is funding another West Guwahati water project that will supply 107 MLD water. All the projects are awaiting completion.

By -AVISHEK SENGUPTA 

March 19, 2018

Highway Tenders

National Highways Authority of India floats tenders for Madurai-Natham highway

By B Anbuselvan  |  Express News Service  |   Published: 19th March 2018 02:36 AM  |  
Last Updated: 19th March 2018 03:41 AM  |   A+A-   |  
WhatsApp_Image_2018-01-25_at_10
Image used for representational purpose (Nagaraja Gadekal | EPS)
CHENNAI: Bharatmala Pariyojana, an umbrella programme launched by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for developing road infrastructure across country, is all set to take off in Tamil Nadu, with the NHAI having floated tenders to lay 44.3 km four-lane road connecting Madurai and Natham under phase one of the flagship programme recently.
The first four-lane project under Bharatmala includes 7.3 km elevated four-lane bridge connecting the Pandiyan Hotel Junction with Chettikulam and widening the existing 33.4 km two lanes into four lanes from Chettikulam to Natham on the NH 785. The estimate of the road works is pegged at Rs 980.4 crore.
To provide better connectivity for freight and passenger traffic, the Bharatmala Pariyoja programme has been launched by the NHAI to develop about 24,800 road networks across the country. The road development works include widening the existing roads, which record  higher volume of traffic to provide connectivity to ports, development of interstate border roads and linking the industrial corridors with the national highway roads.
Particularly, those national highway roads maintained by the State Highways Department and which carry more than 30,000 vehicles have been chosen for widening into four lanes under the Bharatmala Pariyoja programme.
According to official sources, the Mumbai-Kanniyakumari and Chennai-Madurai sections have been shortlisted for development under economic corridors. In addition, 11 roads that run over 1,106 km across the State have been chosen for development under phase one of the project.
The three feeder roads identified for widening into four lanes under the project were Chennai-Puducherry (137 km), Tirupur-Dindigul (116 km) and Madurai-Natham (38 km).
Some stretches of roads identified already have four lanes and some are maintained by the National Highways Wing of the State government. The Union Ministry of Road Transport recently renumbered these roads and directed the Tamil Nadu government to hand over them to the NHAI for development.
While public consultation for widening the Tirupur-Dindigul road was held recently, the NHAI has floated tenders for building the four-lane road connecting Madurai and Natham on NH-785. “This would be the first project to be taken up under the Bharatmala programme. Land acquisition works have already been initiated,” said an officer.

March 13, 2018

Politics of Road Buliding- The Portughese Way

Malawi: Presidency’s ‘sweetheart contractor’ Mota-Engil grabs the lion’s share of road contracts

It is widely seen as the Malawi presidency’s sweetheart contractor. And a leaked official report lends weight to this perception, showing that Portuguese-based multinational engineering firm Mota-Engil has almost 10 times the value of government road-building contracts as its nearest rival.

This story was supported by the Centre for Investigative Journalism Malawi, in association with the amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism

A report by the Roads Authority (RA) shows that Portuguese-based multinational engineering firm Mota-Engil currently has road contracts in Malawi with a combined value of 142-billion Malawi kwacha (R2.4-billion).

By contrast, the second most-favoured company, Zhajoung of China, is engaged in government road projects worth just K14.9-million (R250-million).

A high-ranking executive from a rival civil engineering company, who asked to remain anonymous, said the feeling among competitors was that Mota-Engil was the principal beneficiary of Malawi government tenders.

“We cannot protest the conduct of government when it comes to awarding these projects to Mota-Engil because the construction industry in Malawi is guided by politics,” the executive said.

Asked for comment, Mota-Engil’s public relations officer, Thomas Chafunya, said any questions should be directed to the Malawi government and the RA.

“We are the bidding and contracted party, but they are the contracting authority and owners of the projects on behalf of Malawi,” he said.

The RA’s public relations manager, Portia Kajanga, insisted that the authority follows the Public Procurement Act.

Kajanga said all donor-funded projects must follow donor requirements and guidelines, meaning that “the RA follows transparent procurement systems – there is no bias in the award of contracts”.

Kanjanga also said the RA manages numerous projects under the government’s recurrent and development programmes.

“Under the development programme, the authority is managing 10 contracts, five of which are being executed by Mota-Engil and the rest managed by different contractors,” she said.

According to the Roads Authority report, Mota-Engil has been contracted to build the Thyolo-Makwasa-Thekerani-Makhanga road, funded to the tune of K27.3-million (R450-million) by the Malawi government, the Kuwait Fund, the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa, the Saudi Fund and Opec.

Construction on the 82km road began in August 2016 and is expected to be completed next year.

The company is also building:

the 95km Lilongwe Old Airport-Kasiya Spur road, costing over K39.6-billion (R670-million), with Malawi government funding. The project, which will take up to 95 months, commenced in January 2015.
The 75km Liwonde-Mangochi road worth K29.9-billion (R450-million), funded by the African Development Bank.
The government-funded 75km Njakwa-Livingstonia Project, which will cost K39-billion (R670-million).
The 4.4km highway from Parliament to the Bingu National Stadium, which will cost MK6.6-billion (R90-million). The funding is from the Malawi government, through the Road Fund.

Mota’s nearest rivals are Zhajoung of China, which the RA report said has work worth MK14.9-billion; China Railway Bridge 5 (MK9.8-million, or R166-million); and Malawian-owned Fargo (MK9.2-billion, or R150-million).

The generous treatment of Mota-Engil follows repeated controversies over its relationship with former president Bingu wa Mutharika, the older brother of Malawi’s current leader, Peter Mutharika.

The brothers were very close. Local media reported that Bingu left Peter K74-million in cash in his will, as well making him co-executor of his estate. He is a key figure in the Bineth Trust, Bingu’s property vehicle.

The Nation newspaper reported that Bingu died in April 2012 “at the height of whispers regarding his relationship with Mota”.

The company reportedly built a villa in Portugal for him called Villa Casablanca, as well the mausoleum of former first lady Ethel Mutharika at his Ndata farm in Thyolo, where he was also buried.

The Nation quoted the company as saying these projects were “donations towards a cause”.

Mota-Engil came under the spotlight in 2012, when The Nation newspaper reported that it had seen three cheques amounting to K13.5-million (about R420 000 at the time) which the company had deposited in Bingu’s personal bank account at the Capital City branch of Standard Bank in Lilongwe. It gave the account number as 0140001886701.

The newspaper reported that the cheques were drawn against Mota-Engil’s Engenhara Eco FMB current account and carried the signature of Mota’s managing director, Antonmarco Zorzi.

Zorzi was quoted as saying that the payments were for copies of The African Dream, Bingu’s book, which he had bought at auction at the book’s launch in February 2011.

The Nation countered that the cheques had been deposited a year earlier than the launch, in March 2010.

Mota’s perceived ties with Bingu were again highlighted in June 2016 by the veteran MP for Mzimba West, Harry Mkandawire, who told the Malawian parliament that Bingu had salted away K61-billion in assets offshore. In 2004, when he became president, Bingu declared K250-million in assets.

In a document tabled in parliament, Mkandawira alleged that the former president received 10% of all payments to Mota on government contracts, and that his offshore assets had been accumulated with the help of “inducements” by the company.

His deceased estate revealed that in addition to Ndata estate, the former president owned six farms in Malawi, four vacant lots and four houses in Blantyre, and vacant land and a house in Harare, Zimbabwe.

Mkandawire said that he had evidence that Bingu had stashed away assets in foreign countries including Australia, the United States, South Africa and Taiwan.

After his sudden death, it was alleged that cash including millions of US dollars was removed from State House. The Malawi Law Society called for a probe of his fortune.

However, President Pete Mutharika angrily challenged Parliament’s public accounts committee to investigate the alleged K61-billion.

He called the allegations “political tactics to torment my family”.

Based on anonymous sources, the Nyasa Times also alleged that Mota is bankrolling a campaign by Agriculture Minister Georg Chaponda to win the presidency next year.

Mutharika has allegedly anointed Chaponda as his successor. The Nyasa Times claimed that the minister refused to grant an interview.

Mota, which has been active in Malawi for more than 20 years, initially entered the country as a road contractor, but its portfolio of contracts has ballooned into new sectors.

In July 2013 the government handed it the management and operation of four ports on Lake Malawi through a concessionary agreement giving it the right to finance, manage and run the ports for a 35-year period.

The Nation reported last year that the contract was awarded without passing through a competitive tender process and violated the Public Procurement Act, as it had not been signed off by the director of public procurement.

The government justified the award by saying no other company was interested. Mota’s chief executive for Africa, Gilberto Rodrigues, was quoted as saying that the approach came from government, adding: “They had a problem and we could be the solution.”

In July 2013 the company built the Nsanje Inland Port, part of the $6-billion Shire-Zambezi waterway project that links Malawi to the Indian Ocean. The port was Bingu Mutharika’s brainchild.

President Mutharika’s press secretary, Mgeme Kalilani, said the responsibility for awarding government road tenders lies squarely with the Roads Authority.

“The presidency, let alone president… Mutharika as an individual has absolutely nothing to do with such processes,” Kalilani said.

“To allege that a company that has been doing business in the country for many years, even before the Mutharika brothers made their names on the local political scene… is a desperate attempt by haters to drag the name of the current president in the mud for malicious reasons.

“Mota-Engil is not winning tenders because it constructed the house of the president’s late brother some years ago.” DM

Source-  By GREGORY GONDWE.

Saudi Rail Event

Add caption
 Speaking at the 12th edition of the Middle East Rail 2018, Khalid Al Sultan, vice president - infrastructure, Saudi Railway Company (SAR), covered the company’s railway development plans in context of the country’s Vision 2030. He explained that railway will play a major role in three aspects of development: a cost efficient means of moving goods & freight, a means of moving people as well as aligning with major ports and entry points to ensure seamless infrastructural connectivity.

He also explained in great detail the length and depth of coverage of the country’s three major railway lines including the Riyadh Dammam Line, North-South Project (connecting major heavy industry hubs for freight projects) and the 453-km long Haramain High Speed Railway (HHR) project linking the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah.

Al Sultan also expressed SAR’s keen interest in working with the private sector to collaborate and partner in achieving success in multiple new projects. Of note were Public-Private Partnership (PPP) opportunities for the 340-kilometer dDouble-track Yanbu to Jeddah connection (via King Abdullah Port) and the 40-kilometer double-track Riyadh to Riyadh connection and new Dry-Port (connecting SAR and SRO networks in Riyadh and New Dry Port to be situated outside of Riyadh).

He also mentioned that SAR will soon be floating tenders for the Riyadh-Dammam and the Land Bridge Project. The project consists of a 449-kilometer passenger Line connecting Dammam and Riyadh passing through Al Ahsa and Abqaiq, a 546-kilometer Freight Line connecting King Abdulaziz Port in Dammam with Riyadh passing through Al Ahsa, Abqaiq, Al Kharj, Haradh and Al Tawdhiyah and a 400-kilometer Sub Line connecting industrial, agricultural and military sites with export ports and residential areas.

The Land Bridge extends from Jeddah to Riyadh with a total length of approximately 1000 km of double-track. It also connects with the GCC Railway Network.

Alstom showcases its complete mobility solutions

Alstom is showcasing its complete mobility solutions for urban signaling and services. 

“Alstom has been a reliable partner for the Middle East region since decades,” said Mrs. Thi Mai Tran, managing director of Alstom Gulf. “Alstom’s dedication to the UAE and the Middle East market and to the development of its transport & mobility network which includes Tramways, metro, high speed as well as signaling is confirmed by the number of projects currently in the region. Alstom is looking forward to further re-enforce its commitment to the development of the Middle East mobility sector and economy through participation in the upcoming railway & mobility projects,” added Tran.



The provider of the Dubai Tram and the leader of the ExpoLink consortium for Route 2020 project of the Red Line extension of Dubai Metro have highlighted eight new technologies with the power to transform mobility in the Middle East now – or in the very near future.

Ranging from connected tech to help passengers plan easier, more comfortable journeys, to autonomous last-mile shuttles, next-generation electric buses, and behind-the-scenes management systems to keep the whole transport system running smoothly, each of the innovations is available now to be deployed. When put together, they offer a revolution in smarter, more sustainable mobility for both passengers and operators, and will help rapidly growing cities move and breathe more easily for a better tomorrow.

Among the solutions Alstom will present on its booth, are Alstom’s Urban Integrated solutions; Citadis Range: More than 2,500 Citadis tramway sold in 53 cities; Mastria, the orchestration of all public transport modes from rail to road; Ecodesign: Sustainability in mobility from manufacturing to recycling; Aptis: the premium passenger experience inspired from the tram.


Indian Railways to talk about expansion

Indian Railways, India's national railway system operated by the Ministry of Railways, will talk about $140 billion worth of current and future rail projects that the government is building to upgrade country’s urban transportation network.

Mahesh Kumar Gupta, member engineering - Indian Railway Board, will lead a high-profile delegation of railway officials and experts to share more details about the region’s largest railway network’s expansion plans and future growth prospects, besides outlining a buddle of opportunities that the industry offers in the segments of metro, tram, monorail, long-distance freight and passenger train, and high speed rail.

Gupta, said: “We will highlight some of our achievements, growth prospects and future projections during this two-day event. This kind of events helps in creating awareness about gigantic organizations like Indian Railways, which deals in mega projects such as high speed trains, dedicated freight corridors, electrification, capacity expansion and tech development.”

Indian Railways will also be represented by two of its overseas arms – RITES and IRCON International Limited. While RITES deals in consultancy of transport and infrastructure and export packages of rolling stock, the IRCON is mainly into construction of railway projects.

“These are exciting times for railway industry. There are serious challenges in the road and air transportation sector, hence, the upgradation of the railway infrastructure is the need of the hour. Indian Railways has realized that accumulated backlog investment is the root cause of its inability to improve the market share or quality of services,” said Gupta.

Indian railways aims to concentrate on major investment projects in the areas of dedicated freight corridor, high speed rail, modernization of signaling system, track and rolling stock maintenance with major emphasis on safety. “Our future plan is to focus on electrification, 100% use of LED lights, ETCS level II of signaling and high speed technologies.”

Source- Saudi Gazzette

February 21, 2018

Security Clearance Sought for Road Project

Coastal road project...




With five international consortia among the 17 bidders, which qualified for the 29.2km coastal road project in the city, including China and Italy, the Brihanmumbai Mumbai Corporation (BMC) has written to the Centre for security clearance.

The proposals of 17 bidders will be analysed by a consultant appointed by the civic body.

After the analysis, the financial bids will be opened and the contract will be given to the lowest bidder.

However, if the Union Home Ministry disqualifies any firm, their financial bids will not be opened and will be automatically rejected.

“We have written to the Centre informing about the international firms’ participation and their security clearances,” said Sanjay Mukherjee, additional municipal commissioner, projects.

Talking about the commencement of work, BMC chief Ajoy Mehta said, “The actual construction of the Coastal Road between Marine Drive to Kandivli will begin in May this year, once the tendering process is completed in the next two months.”

The Hajo Ali section of the road. (HT Photo)

“The first phase of Marine Drive to Bandra Worli Sea Link has to be constructed by the BMC, while the construction of the remaining part will be taken care of by MSRDC,” he added.

Meanwhile, the international firms participating in the bid are from China, Italy, Korea, Dutch and Gulf countries.

Amid Sikkim stand off last year, Union Home Ministry had denied security clearance to Chinese consortium China Railway Major Bridge Engineering Group Limited in joint venture (JV) with Gayatri Projects Limited for the construction of Mumbai Trans Harbour Link.

The BMC is currently awaiting reply from the home ministry for its coastal road project.

In the past, Chinese companies have been disqualified by the Union Cabinet Committee on security grounds because of the growing cross border tensions between the two countries.

Chinese companies were also denied security clearance for the construction of Bandra-Worli Sea Link (BWSL).

Ajoy Mehta had ordered the civic officials to finalise the request for proposal (RFP) tender by March 15, 2018.

The coastal road aims to provide connectivity between western suburb and the island city.

The civic body proposed that the work be divided into two parts.

The south phase of the bridge will run from Princess Street flyover till the south end of the Bandra-Worli sea link and the north phase will cover the stretch from the north-end of the sea link to Kandivli.

The coastal road will have eight lanes with two dedicated bus lanes.

The project will require 186 hectares of land to be reclaimed, of which 91 hectares will be developed as green spaces. Stay updated with all the Mumbai Latest News headlines here. For more exclusive & live news updates from all around India, stay connected with NYOOOZ.

February 8, 2018

2000 Road Projects in Stalemate

As many as 2,000 road projects awarded to contractors on multiyear contracts have hit a stalemate as no budget has been allocated for these projects in the current fiscal year.

The Department of Roads (DoR) had started around 2,000 road projects in different parts of the country on multiyear contract after taking permission from the Ministry of Finance. These road projects fall under different budget headings like Kathmandu Urban Roads, regional, tourism and city roads, among others.

After the country adopted federal set up, infrastructure projects like Kathmandu Urban Roads, regional, tourism and city roads, among others, have come under the jurisdiction of local bodies and provincial governments. But local bodies have not been able to provide budget for these projects as they have not yet received authorization to implement such works.

Contractors have warned that they would stop all construction work until they receive payment for completed works from the Ministry of Finance.

“It has been said the budget for these projects have been sent to local levels and provinces. However, we have not received any written information. This is why these projects have hit a stalemate,” Mukti Gautam, spokesperson for the DoR, said. 

These contracts are worth Rs 17 billion, and around Rs 7 billion of this has already been spent.

Contractors are pressing the DoR to release payments and compensate them for the loss caused by the delay in release of payment. The DoR accordingly forwarded a proposal to the Ministry of Finance for transfer of Rs 2.6 billion allocated for the projects but remained unspent in the last fiscal year. But the proposal is gathering dust at the finance ministry.

Officials of DoR said the that problem can be sorted out for the time being if the finance ministry transfers Rs 2.6 billion as requested and allocates another Rs 3 billion.

“We have been assuring the contractors that the finance ministry will release the budget soon. But frankly saying, we have not received any response from the ministry yet,” added Gautam.

In Fiscal Year 2015/16, the DoR awarded the tender for drainage and graveling work of Butawal-Belbas-Nuwakot-Palpa Tourist Road (10 km) to contracting firm Mahalaxmi-Divyajyoti at Rs 129.3 million. Similarly, the contract to blacktop the road worth Rs 92.7 million was awarded to Parkritik Construction Service. Mahalaxmi-Divyajyoti completed 58 percent of the works in FY 2016/17. But the contractor has slowed work this year as it has not got payment for the completed works.

“We are not even in a situation to pay our workers and buy petroleum products for our equipment,” Hari Rijal of Mahalaxmi Construction - a JV partner of Mahalaxmi-Divyajyoti - said.

The road project has to a pay total of Rs 60 million to the two contractors.

Construction entrepreneurs two weeks ago padlocked division road offices of Kathmandu and Charikot to press the government for early release of payments.

Bishnu Bhai Shrestha, president of Federation of Nepal Construction Entrepreneurs of Nepal, said that construction entrepreneurs are still to receive Rs 42 billion from government agencies for works completed across the country.

Though the construction entrepreneurs have raised the issue before both the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport as well as the foreign secretary, they have only received assurances.

According to the Public Procurement Regulation 2007, contractors should get payment for completed works within 30 days of submission of expenditure bill. If they did not receive their payment on time, they should get compensation as well, according to the regulation.   

Source- My Republica

October 2, 2017

Nothing world class about TenderSURE roads

By Ashwini M Sripad  |  Express News Service  |   Published: 02nd October 2017 04:38 AM  |  
Last Updated: 02nd October 2017 07:21 AM  |   A+A-   |  
Cunningham Road, developed under the TenderSURE project, gets invariably flooded every time it rains; (below) potholes have also surfaced on some of these roads
BENGALURU: When conceptualised, TenderSURE roads were termed as world class. The recent heavy rains have, however, exposed their poor quality as well as the tall claims of the officials concerned. Sunday night’s rain left the TenderSURE roads waterlogged in the city yet again, with people wondering if the crores of rupees spent on them literally went down the drain!“It was difficult to commute on the water-logged Cunningham Road on Sunday night. Water was gushing on to the street through manholes and drains, and an unbearable stink made matters worse,” said Arun Jha, a resident of R T Nagar.
According to traffic expert Prof M N Sreehari, TenderSURE roads are world class only in terms of the money spent. The quality of the roads is as bad as normal asphalted roads. “On all TenderSURE roads, footpaths have been made wider without conducting any pedestrian user survey. The paver blocks on the footpath have been laid unscientifically. These are laid on the top layer of the footpath. The ground below them is not properly layered, which results in an uneven top layer and gaps in between the blocks. Whenever it rains, water percolates through them, leading to water stagnation and damaged road surface,’’ he said.
Many of the TenderSURE roads built in the first phase have sewer lines beneath them, including Richmond Road, Residency Road and Cunningham Road. “At times, if there are clogged drains, we end up digging the roads to clear the blockage,’’ said an official.
BBMP Commissioner Manjunath Prasad agreed. “Ideally for TenderSURE roads, all the utility should be shifted to one side of the road. But in the first phase, BWSSB did not shift sewer lines on some of the roads. This is one of the reasons for flooding,’’ he said. However, he was quick to add that the problem has been rectified in the works undertaken during subsequent phases.
Another reason for water clogging is the sweeping practices. “Pourakarmikas often push dust and waste towards gratings on the road surface that have been put to let rainwater into the drain. This results in clogging,’’ an official said.
However, K T Nagaraj, BBMP Chief (Projects), maintained there is no problem with TenderSURE roads and they are indeed world class. Flooding, Nagaraj claimed, is because of heavy rains. The gratings have small outlets for the rainwater to enter the drains. “If there is more water and smaller outlets, water will obviously flow slowly. On TenderSURE roads, water does not clog for more than three hours,’’ he added.  
Of the proposed 45 TenderSURE roads, nine are complete. Works on another three will be finished soon. Tenders will be called for 13 more roads under  phase II. The cost of these roads was around `7.5 crore per km, including shifting of utilities, wider footpath and bitumen-mixed black-topping. BBMP officials boast of 25 to 30 years durability of these roads.