State-Run Fuel Retailers Raise Bid for Highway Village Project
Wayside Amenities were the need of the hour which was finally tended to after Mr Akhilesh Srivastava, Chief General Manager (IT and Highways Operations) of NHAI proposed the Highway Nest and Highway Nest (Mini) projects. These two categories of wayside amenities have been successfully implemented at over 50+ toll plazas across the country. This endeavour is propelling to the next level of achievement with the proposed initiative of Highway Village. This is by far the grandest in this category which exactly translates to why it is going to need the maximum amount in terms of investments.
Unlike the Highway Nest and Highway Nest (Mini), the Highway Village is proposed to be constructed on a land of 5 acres which will provide with amenities ranging from helipads, village haats, and motels to shopping malls, fuel stations, parking for vehicles, restaurants and food courts. Following the successful execution of the prior two projects, Mr Srivastava was confident that the development of Highway Village will boost the overall economic growth of the country.
The Government is planning on developing this scheme in 150 different sites along the national highways in India. This is expected to improve the overall commute experience of drivers and reduce the rate of fatigue induced accidents. Due to the large scale expenditure that this project calls for, the entire scheme is going to be operated under the public-private partnership (PPP) for smoother results. Bids have been called for and a noticeable number of state-run fuel retailers are amidst the top bidders in the lot. Indian Oil Corp. Ltd (IOCL), Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd (HPCL) and Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd (BPCL) are the companies that have raised bids for acquiring the Highway Village project under their bag.
Mr Akhilesh Srivastava is going to be supervising the entire project and looking after its progress once the bids are finalised. As per the PPP model, the NHAI is going to provide with the 5-acre land while the entire expenditure for the construction of the amenity is going to be bore by the bidders. The first bundle of sites were projected up for bidding in which NHAI has already received bids for 21 sites. All the technical and financial bids are expected to be completed by the end of May; the total expected expenditure to be around Rs. 500 crore.
The raised bids by majority of the fuel companies comprise sites located in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh. The successful implementation of the Highway Village across the national highways in India will not just beautify the stretch of the national highways and aid the commuters, it is also going to be a great source of employment in the country. More than 20 lakh people are expected to get employed either directly or indirectly via this scheme. In turn, this is expected to encourage and boost the socio-economic growth of the villages along the highways. Mr Akhilesh Srivastava is working on brushing the final details and the strategies that need to be implemented in order to churn the maximum outputs.
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Harika Lingamaneni is a passionate content writer, where she has almost 6 years of experience in article writing. she is currently working on an article about Indian Highways.