MUMBAI: A couple of infrastructure projects to be taken up in Mumbai, entailing an investment of Rs 4,500 crore, will improve connectivity and ease traffic in the city. These are in addition to the over Rs 55,000-crore worth of infrastructure projects in the works – metro rail, monorail and several elevated road corridors.
The new projects include the 4.25-kilometre Sewri-Worli elevated corridor, built at a cost of Rs 490 crore. Starting near Sewri railway station in the east, the corridor will connect with Worli Seaface in the west. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), the implementing agency for the project, has already received five bids for the corridor from five engineering firms -- Gammon India Ltd, Hindustan Construction Company, Larsen & Toubro, NCC and Simplex Infrastructure for the project.
Another Rs 4,045 crore is proposed to be spent on the Bandra-Versova sea link, the northward extension of the existing Worli-Bandra sea link. The 9.9-km link is proposed to be a built via public-private partnership (PPP) project.
The lowest bidder for the Sewri-Worli elevated corridor is Simplex Infrastructure. It had bid 16%-17% lower than the reserve price set by MMRDA, said a senior government official. The government authority has already written to Simplex seeking clarification on submitting its bids lower than the reserve price, the official said. "The second-lowest bidder, which is L&T, bid lower, by around 13% than the reserve price," the official said. When contacted, a spokesperson from Simplex said, "Bids for the Worli-Sewri elevated corridor were invited on the design-build procurement route. We have suggested a world-class design for the project, while at the same time being less expensive to build".
L&T refused comment for the story as the company is announcing its quarterly earnings later this week. The senior government official said that the difference in costs have emerged due to different designs been proposed by the companies, but the project will start only after satisfactory responses are received from them. Gammon and HCC, however, submitted bids that were a tad higher than the reserve price, saidthe official. This corridor was originally planned as a connector to the Rs 9,630-crore Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL).