Two of four short-listed companies have submitted their bids for the contract to build three packages of the Southern Loop of Lahore Ring Road on a public-private partnership model.
China Works and the Frontier Works Organisation submitted their technical and financial bids for the project, which is worth around Rs50 billion, on September 30. The technical bids are to be evaluated by October 21, while the financial bids are to be opened on October 24.
The concession agreement with the company winning the contract would be signed on December 10.
The Lahore Ring Road Authority has not yet been able to get approval for the PC-1 proposal for land acquisition for the three packages. The proposed Southern Loop Package 1, connecting Ferozepur Road to the Northern Loop, is 9.35km long. Package 2 from Gajju Mata, Ferozepur Road, to Adda Plot is 13km long and Package 3, from Adda Plot to Maraka, Multan Road, is around 8km.
According to the request for proposal of the project, the company winning the contract will have until June 10 to start construction work. It will spend the time between signing the agreement and starting construction on making financial arrangements, which, according to officials of the Planning and Development Department, will take four to five months. They said that the company would first make a detailed design for each package and then seek a bank loan.
The LRRA is required to hand over the land for Package 1 within 60 days, for Package 2 within 90 days, and for Package 3 within 120 days of the signing of the concession agreement. Should it fail to do so, the concession agreement will stand terminated.
The PC 1 for land acquisition, which would cost Rs28 billion, is yet to be approved by the Planning and Development Board. The process of land acquisition will take at least four or five months, provided there is no legal challenge to the process.
The LRRA will allow the successful bidder two years to complete the project. It will have to pay the company Rs10-12 billion annually for 15 years. This includes operation and maintenance costs and the re-carpeting of the road twice. The company will also install surveillance cameras and set up an intelligent transport system.
LRRA Chairman Rashid Langrial said that he expected the PC-1 for land acquisition to be approved soon. He said that the authority was currently preparing a Section 6 notification, which contains all the details of the land to be purchased.
Asked about the proposed Packages 4 and 5 of the Southern Loop, he said that they were in the basic design phase and no final decision had yet been made.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 2nd, 2013.