After A year of being stalled due to issues over cost escalation, tendering for the city’s first underground Metro rail corridor, which is also its costliest infrastructure project till date, will finally get under way with the state set to take a final decision on Friday.
Although the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) — the state government entity in charge of the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro — shortlisted bidders in September 2014, tendering has been stuck as the nine shortlisted consortia quoted bid amounts that were almost 35 per cent above estimates.
“The tender committee has had some negotiations with the shortlisted bidders to push them to reduce their bid amounts by redesigning and re-evaluating certain aspects of the bid. The committee will meet Friday to take a final call on whether to accept the lowest bidder for the project or reject the bids,” said an MMRC senior board member.
The civil work makes up about 60 per cent of the total project cost, pegged at Rs 23,136 crore, which comes to Rs 13,882 crore. On this, bidders, on an average, quoted about 35 per cent higher amounts. This would have taken the total project cost to nearly Rs 29,000 crore, prompting the MMRC to take a relook at the project cost estimates as well as negotiate with bidders to drop their quotations.
Ashwini Bhide, Managing Director, MMRC, said, “It will be right for me to comment after the process is concluded.”
Bhide had earlier said the original cost of Rs 23,136 crore was underestimated as this is the first such project in Mumbai and there were no references to benchmark the costs. RITES, the consultant that prepared the detailed project report, had relied on costs estimated by Delhi Metro for its underground Metro project in 2011 as reference, though there were several differences between the Delhi project and the one proposed in Mumbai, she had said.
Issues over cost escalation, besides environmental concerns over the location of the car shed, have been a major reason for delay in the implementation of the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro.