New bidding norms for National Highway projects
In an effort to resolve procedural impediments for faster implementation highway projects, the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has modified some of the norms in model documents for Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) projects i.e. Request for Qualification and Request for Proposal (RFQ/RFP).
As per new norms, a bidder shall not be eligible for bidding if, as on the bid date, the bidder, it’s member or associate was, either by itself or as member of consortium has been declared by the Authority as the selected bidder of undertaking three or more projects and the bidder is yet to achieve financial closure. A bidder shall be considered as declared selected bidder for the projects of NHAI, where the Letter of award (LOA) has been issued.
It has also been made mandatory by NHAI that the concessionaire shall engage only such EPC contractors for execution of the work that have experience of at least one single completed highway work of value at least 20% of the estimated project cost in the preceding five years. An undertaking to this effect shall be provided by the concessionaire along with the EPC project agreement document.
Giving this information in the Parliament, Road Transport and Highways Minister Kamal Nath said that these norms will impact those developers, who have outstanding LOAs but have not yet achieved the financial closure while seeking participation in the bidding process for further projects. The amendments in the model RFP have been introduced by the NHAI with the view to expedite financial closure by the developers, he added.
This has been done consequent to acceptance of the recommendations of the Chaturvedi Committee’s first report by the government.