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Further delay in Colaba-Seepz Metro as govt tweaks bid norms

The work on the Colaba-Seepz metro is set to get delayed further as the implementing agency MMRDA has re-invited bids with modification to attract competitive bidding.

The government had earlier planned to commence work on the around Rs 24,000-crore underground metro project by January. However, due to certain issues raised by bidders on the eligibility criteria, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) re-invited pre-qualification bids with certain modifications.

Modified pre-qualification bids for detailed design and construction of underground stations and tunnels was invited on January 31.

The MMRDA had earlier invited bids last September.

As per the earlier bid document, companies with a minimum average annual construction turnover of USD 175 million, calculated as total certified payments received for contracts of similar work in progress and/or completed, within the last five years, divided by five years were eligible for the applying for the project.

However, in the new bid document, this criteria is modified to "average annual construction turnover of not less than USD 175 million defined as billing for civil infrastructure work completed or in progress over the last five years ending on March 2013".

"Most of the times, during the pre-bidding meetings, companies request the implementing agencies to relax certain norms. Their demands are mostly considered when projects are too large," a source said.

Similarly, modifications have been made in the technical qualification wherein it has revised experience limit of bidders for 10 years ending March 2013 from December 2012.

The 32.5-km-long underground metro will connect Cuffe Parade business district in the extreme south to Seepz (Santa Cruz Export Processing Zone) in the north with 26 underground stations.

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