For second time,MEPL lone bidder for sea link tollhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/for-second-time-mepl-lone-bidder-for-sea-link-toll/

For second time,MEPL lone bidder for sea link toll

The corporation spent months re-tendering,heavily diluting the eligibility criteria.

The MSRDC has yet again received a single bid for toll collection on the Bandra-Worli sea link,that too from the incumbent firm,Mumbai Entry Point Ltd (MEPL).

About 10 months ago,MSRDC had invited bids to award a fresh contract toll collection the sea link and received only one bid that could qualify from MEPL. The corporation spent months re-tendering,heavily diluting the eligibility criteria,redrawing the contract,giving multiple extensions to companies,and fighting a court battle with a disqualified firm. Now,it is back to square one.

A senior MSRDC official said,“The other shortlisted companies had expressed interest till the last moment,but only MEPL put in its bid. We are yet to open the financial tender. If it is financially viable,or even at par with what we had expected,then MEPL may be awarded the contract.”

MEPL is owned by Jayant Mhaiskar,brother of Virendra Mhaiskar,the promoter of IRB Infrastructure,and has been collecting toll on the sea link since it was opened in 2009.

Sources said most companies may not have found the contract financially viable,with there being no increase in traffic on the sea link.

“Till now,the MSRDC was looking after the maintenance of the sea link,but in the fresh contract,the maintenance will be the responsibility of the toll collection company. The company will also have to refurbish the road surface every three years. It will have to bear an annual cost of Rs 10 crore for it,” the official added.

Advertising

Jayant Mhaiskar said,“We have analysed the contract and bid as per our calculations. The financial bids are yet to be opened.”

manasi.phadke@expressindia.com