8 bidders qualify for Rs 46,000 cr Nagpur-Mumbai expressway project; MSRDC extends deadline

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New Delhi | Published: September 7, 2017 5:08:44 AM

Around eight bidders have qualified for construction of the Rs 46,000 crore Nagpur-Mumbai expressway, which has been billed as a prosperity corridor.

Nagpur-Mumbai expressway project, road, MSRDCMSRDC had actually received a total of 27 bids but it disqualified 19 and found only eight to be eligible.

Around eight bidders have qualified for construction of the Rs 46,000 crore Nagpur-Mumbai expressway, which has been billed as a prosperity corridor.

However, the Maharashtra Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) – the authority for overseeing the project – has extended the last day for submission of bids till September 27 as it would like more companies to participate in the bids. This is the fourth time the deadline for bids has been extended. The previous deadline was August 31.

The companies whose bids have qualified so far are Afcons Infrastructure, Navyuga Engineering, L&T, IL&FS Transportation Networks (ITNL) and China Construction Fifth. NCC, PNC Infratech and the joint venture of RInfra and Cengiz Construction have withdrawn their bids and are expected to bid afresh.

MSRDC had actually received a total of 27 bids but it disqualified 19 and found only eight to be eligible. MSRDC now says it may relax a few more conditions with respect to the bid parameters to ensure more participation and increase competition.

An MSRDC official told Fe the deadline has been extended till September 27 because more companies are keen on bidding for the project. To be sure, the request for qualification (RFQ) documents were first floated in January this year.

However, after it invited bids, MSRDC annulled these documents and published a fresh document a day before the last day of submission of bids, with new clauses that have been dubbed as contentious by at least two major road developers’ associations. The reissued document disqualified companies that are under corporate debt restructuring (CDR) or strategic debt restructuring (SDR) from bidding for the project, despite the fact the Central government has issued directives that companies under CDR/SDR should not be barred by central or state agencies from bidding for any project.

The official told Fe that the decision to introduce the clause was taken by the corporation to eliminate any kind of risk during construction.

The project has also been mired in controversy over land acquisition issues and in August, MSRDC’s vic-chairman and managing director, Radhesyam Mopalwar was suspended on charges of corruption, pending an enquiry by the state government.

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