In what may be called a twist in the tale of public private partnership (PPP) infrastructure development,the railways may not adopt the model concession agreement (MCA) authored by the Planning Commission for future projects.
The railways has a got an MCA prepared by a London-based legal consultancy firm,CMS McKenna,which is being currently used to invite bids for the modernisation of the New Delhi Railway Station (NDRS). The same agreement is likely to be used for the modernisation of other major zonal stations against the MCA prepared by the commission.
Initially we were told that there is unlikely to be a separate MCA for railways,so we went ahead and appointed an international consultant who devised the Rail MCA on the basis of other existing MCAs prepared by the commission. If bidding for other projects is done on the basis of a different MCA,there may be lack of uniformity in the assessment and treatment of bidders leading to problems. Thus the ministry may not use the MCA,even though the final decision is yet to come, officials told The Indian Express.
The railways is planning the modernisation of other major stations in the next fiscal. Detailed project studies will be commissioned soon so that we can identify projects for bidding out in 2009-10, the official said. The plan is to modernise stations at Mumbai,Lucknow,Patna,Calcutta,Chennai.
Despite the fact that there have been delays with the Delhi railway station modernisation,we plan to go ahead with the others in the coming fiscal. Delay in Delhi is largely on account of approvals from local authorities. This may take another nine-ten months to sort out, he said.