The Centre is reported to have decided to execute the much-awaited four-laning of the Jalandhar-Barnala highway under engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) mode with the Union ministry of road transport and highways approving the Rs 3,000cr project recently.
Under the EPC mode, the Centre will fund the entire project which will attract more bidders and hence will not face shortage of funds. The contractor, who would maintain the highway for five years after completing the construction, will collect toll tax during the same period. The decision to adopt the EPC mode instead of conventional public private partnership (PPP) mode was taken since the Union ministry felt that projects under PPP do not get completed in time.
The project suffered delay since the Jalandhar forest division is yet to finalise locations for compensatory afforestation as the project involves felling of 22,700 trees on a large forest area. The Sangrur and Muktsar forest divisions have already submitted their reports with the authorities concerned, the official added.