By Namini Wijedasa
The Highways Ministry and the Road Development Authority (RDA) are rushing moves to award a multibillion rupee contract for the fourth section of the Central Expressway Project (CEP IV) from Kurunegala to Dambulla.
Talks between the Government and an identified contractor–the British consultancy firm Roughton–have been going on amidst the protracted curfew and growing COVID-19 pandemic, authoritative sources said. They did not wish to be named.
The Cabinet has granted approval to start talks on the unsolicited proposal which will be financed by a loan. The project was not advertised for bids.
Therefore, there is no open tender for what has been termed an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract.
Roughton is expected to partner with two local building contractors, who are yet to be announced. The project was once valued at Rs 161.61bn, excluding tax.
Highways Ministry Secretary R.W.R. Pemasiri confirmed that Roughton was the named party. The company was the consultant for a section of the Southern Expressway that was financed by the Asian Development Bank.
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