Nellore: NHAI resumes repairs to stretch on NH-16

Nellore: NHAI resumes repairs to stretch on NH-16
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The National Highway develops breaches for 3.82 km at Tada and between Manubole and Gudur due to heavy rains in 2015 and works have not started to repair to the breaches on NH

Nellore: After a huge lull, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) resumed the works of the damaged highway at Tada and also between Manubole and Gudur at a cost of about Rs. 135 crore. It may be recalled that the highway had received huge damages due to flash floods due to torrential rains in November 2015. Now, the Authority is taking up six-lane works for 3.82 km.

During November 2015, three spells of rain created havoc in the district for 20 days and the national highway received a major breach at Manubolu obstructing movement of the vehicles for 3-4 days. There was no vehicular movement either on the Chennai side or Tirupati side for more than a week.

The NHAI had planned to start works in October 2016 and invited tenders for around Rs. 120 crore. But it was not approved and finally, the cost escalated to Rs. 165 crore. The NHAI has allocated Rs. 165 crore in 2018 for the works and the design was also approved by the Ministry. But there was no progress in the works subsequently.

According to a version, tussle between the National Highway Authority of India and the local toll collection company, was also the reason for the delay in taking up works.

There was a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) agreement for 28 years till 2030 and the toll authority which has been collecting user charges had to take up the repairs. So, there has been a deadlock in the project till now.

Finally, after 4.5 years, works have been resumed with Rs. 134.76 crore converting the four-way into a six-lane one. Officials said the works have been allocated to a contractor last year and they were delayed due to Covid lockdown.

As part of the works, works are being taken up for 0.330 km at Tada, and 3.49 km between Gudur and Manubole. At Gudur, one underpass, two mini bridges are being constructed freshly and one existing major bridge and seven mini bridges are being reconstructed, sources said. These works are scheduled to be completed by June 2021.

A senior official from the NHAI confirmed that they had handover works to the contractor and the six-lane highway is being constructed currently.

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