Bangalore: Four construction firms have thrown their hats in for the pre-qualification bids to build the metro’s 13.8-km underground section between Dairy Circle and Nagawara. This is the most expensive portion of work in Phase II, whose total network will be 72.09 km.
Estimated to cost Rs 11,014 crore, work on Reach 6 has been broken up into five packages (including one elevated section between Gottigere and Swagath Road Cross). Bids for the underground section were floated in June this year.
When the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRCL) opened bids last week, the management was taken by surprise by the poor response from construction companies. Although 16 firms bought the tender documents online, only four submitted applications.
While L&T has participated only in two underground packages, the other three firms are in the fray for all the four packages in Reach 6.
The poor response is evident when one sees that in the previous bids in Phase 2, there have been at least three to four firms bidding for each package. Even for the elevated stretch of Reach 6 (Gottigere Swagath Road Cross along the Bannerghatta Road), three firms (IL&FS, Simplex Infrastructure and Nagarjuna Constructions) were in the fray.
With only four participants for four contracts (packages), BMRCL will be left with very few options during the technical evaluation process and later, for the financial bids.
“The technical evaluation is time-consuming and takes about two to three months. The financial bids might be opened in December-end or in the first month of next year,“ officials in the BMRCL said. The BMRCL is unlikely to re-invite tenders as the process itself could take a year’s time. “It’s not the number but we want good contractors.Reputed contractors have applied and we will process it further,“ Pradeep Singh Kharola, MD, BMRCL said.
A retired official, who was at the helm of Namma Metro affairs in the past, too believes that the response is good. “It is difficult to get many contractors to apply.Four is a good number,“ he noted.