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Second Metro corridor faces roadblock

The nodal agency for the Metro Rail Project which is awaiting financial bids for the second line may not receive any bids on March 16 either.

Written by Swapnil Rawal | Mumbai |
March 6, 2009 3:01:55 am

Bidders again ask for extension of submission dates

The nodal agency for the Metro Rail Project which is awaiting financial bids for the second line may not receive any bids on March 16 either. Earlier in February,none of the seven bidders for the 32-km line came forward,all of them instead seeking an extension of the submission dates by a month.

According to G R Madan,director of MRTS,Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA),the seven consortia have yet again requested that the date of submission be pushed back by a month. “Some bidders have requested to give a 15-day extension while some have asked to postpone it by a month. So far no decision has been taken,” Madan told Newsline.

Sources in the MMRDA also point out that apart from the unpredictable market condition,few bidders also have minor disputes over the rate at which the ticket prices would be hiked. “Some bidders want it nearly 20 per cent of the base price,while MMRDA has decided a hike of 11 per cent every fourth year,” an official said.

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Senior government officials are concerned with bidders not coming forward to bid for crucial infrastructure projects in the state. “They are unable to assess the risk and debt ratio currently due to the market situation but the bidders can quote higher viability gap fund. We are unable to see what their concerns are,” an official said requesting anonymity.

The seven consortia,which were short-listed for the project,included Anil Ambani-led Reliance Energy,which has bagged the contract for the first metro corridor and joined hands with Canadian firm SNC Lavalin for the second corridor while Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries is bidding with Siemens and Gammon. The other consortia,which are in the fray,include GE India-L&T-CA-IDPL,Tata Power-Mitsubishi-Tata Realty’s Pioneer Infrastructure,GVK-Bombardier-YTL,IL&FS-Soma Constructions-Punj Lloyd and Essar-Alstom.

The bids for the corridor were floated in mid 2007. The original bid was to open on December 16 was extended to January and thereafter to February 13.

But according to MMRDA officials the second line project is still an attractive corridor as it has the highest projected passenger traffic growth among all the nine corridors and VGF assured directly from the Government of India.

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