Giving in to requests by several potential bidders, the city’s development authority has diluted certain key eligibility criteria for the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro to widen the competition for the construction of the Rs 23,136-crore fully underground corridor.
The Mumbai Metro Rail Corp (MMRC) has made a modification to the norm for the required annual turnover of the potential bidders, and in the manner in which past experience of potential bidders will be considered.
As per the original pre-qualification bid norms, potential bidders needed to have an average annual turnover of $175 million for five years generated specifically from the execution of underground railway works, excluding hill tunnels. However, the tender has now been modified to read that the bidders are required to have an average turnover of $175 million for five years from billing for civil infrastructure works completed or in progress.
Sanjay Sethi, managing director of MMRC, said, “The annual turnover requirement must have been set with the idea of attracting specific companies to the project. However, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) felt that consortia or joint ventures are a combination of management contractors and construction contractors. In all Metro projects, the annual turnover is the starting point for bidding based on which we should not restrict applications. The issue was also raised by several potential bidders.” JICA is partially financing the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro with a loan to cover 57 per cent of the total amount.
Another significant alteration in the original tender is that all member companies of a consortium or JV need not individually show the minimum experience required for bidding and that the combined experience of a consortium will be counted. For a contract package, applicants are required to show past experience of total 12 km of tunnelling using tunnel boring machines and six underground stations from a maximum of three distinct contracts. The requirement is double if applicants want to bid for two contract packages.
“With this change, if there are three members in a consortium every company will not be required to show a past experience of 4 km of tunnelling. It will be fine if one company has 6 km, another 2 km and so on. The aggregate experience will be considered,” said Sethi, who is also additional metropolitan commissioner at the Mumbai MMRDA, the parent body of MMRC.