Kathmandu: The Nepalese government has re- invited pre-qualification bids from domestic and global firms for a USD 900 million road project, for which India's Reliance Infrastructure has already been shortlisted for final bidding.
The deadline for new expressions of interest (EoI), to accommodate domestic companies, is February 27.
In the earlier round, Reliance Infra and South Korea's Landmark Worldwide had been shortlisted to make bid for the 76 km long fast track road project that would connect Kathmandu with southern Terai plains.
The two companies will remain qualified but they have to sumbit applications again, Ministry of Physical Planning and Works spokesperson Tulasi Prasad Sitaula said.
The Ministry of Physical Planning and Works is responsible for executing the project.
As per the directives from the Public Accounts Committee of the Parliament, the pre-qualification bids were re-invited to allow local companies participate in the bid, Sitaula said.
Now with this new development, other national and international companies are also allowed to enter the race for pre-qualification, which may increase competition for the Indian company, officials said.
The government has also changed some provisions in the pre-qualification requirements making the deal more complicated.
The construction works of the Terai fast track road is to be executed through a public-private partnership on a build- own-operate-and-transfer (BOOT) system.
The feasibility study of the project was carried out by the Asian Development Bank in 2008.
The fast track road will reduce distance by 160 km to just 76 km from Kathmandu to Pathlaiya, near Indian border. Travel time will be reduced from 5 hours to 1 hour 15 minutes.
The project is expected to complete in four years.