BENGALURU: The Metro line on the Outer Ring Road (ORR) that cuts across the densest IT corridor in the City is set to get delayed by four more months, thanks to the financial troubles dogging the Hyderabad-based infrastructure group, Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Limited (IL&FS). Retendering of the contract notified in March is set to take place.
IL & FS had bid the lowest in the first of three tender packages of the Rs 4,202 crore KR Puram-Silk Board (Phase-2A), an elevated line that will run to 19.45 km, called by the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited. By emerging on top in the technical bid and emerging as the lowest bidder in the financial bid in the first segment running to 7 km between K R Puram and Bellandur, BMRCL was on the verge of awarding it the contract before its crippling financial situation became public recently.
BMRCL Managing Director Ajay Seth told Express, “We are in a dilemma now. IL & FS is the lowest bidder and had quoted just 1.7% above our estimate of Rs 427 crore. The other bidders had quoted nearly 9% above our estimate. However, we are now having serious issues over their financial status and if they can complete the line for us.”
Asked if the second lowest bidder could be awarded the contract, Seth said that would undermine the transparency of the whole process. “We could possibly go in for a retendering. But this would mean another four months to be gone through before the contract is awarded.” Two other top Metro officials confirmed to this reporter that retendering was highly likely.
With IL & FS also qualifying for the technical round in Package II which deals with works from Bellandur station to Doddanakundi station (6.451-km line and Rs 416.66 crore) and Package III works from Doddanakundi station to K R Puram Interchange station (5.9-km for Rs 386 crore), BMRCL is yet to open the financial bids. “We heard they have quoted the lowest again and this means these tenders also would have to be awarded to them if we open those bids,” he added.
The MD had recently revised the ORR route deadline to 2022.IL & FS is also involved in carrying out works for the Mysuru Road extension of Phase-II. “Nearly 75% of that is completed and we are not worried about that. It is only that in the case of ORR we need to be really careful as completion of this line is eagerly waited for by most Bengalureans,” the MD added.