NHAI shortlists companies to directly bid for highway projects

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) in India has shortlisted 114 highway construction companies to submit financial bids for projects involving the construction of 7,300km national highways during the current financial year.

The shortlisting will be valid for projects up for bidding till December this year and the authority could award most of the highway projects for the current fiscal in the next six months or may extend the shortlisting period if required.

Out of shortlisted firms, ten companies can directly submit bids for projects worth INR50 billion ($1.12billion) covering major highway projects spanning over 300-500km as well as expressways.

L&T Infrastructure Development Projects has been qualified for projects worth INR97 billion ($2.19 billion), Leighton contractors India for projects worth INR10 billion ($224.8 million) while Reliance Infrastructure, Lanco Infratech and GMR for projects above INR50 billion ($1.12 billion), among others.

India plans to invest around INR70 billion ($1.57 billion) for the upgradation of highways stretching around 9,000km in the current fiscal.

Pre-qualification of bidders is intended to do away with the current two-stage bidding process and the shortlisted companies will be able to directly submit bids without having to follow the normal route of submitting technical bids first and then putting in financial bids after qualification.

The move would also help the government cut the time taken in awarding the projects, however, if companies wan’t to bid for additional projects, they have to go in for technical round and follow the existing process.