Chennai Metro|CMRL defends move to end contyract

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Chennai:  Metro Rail on Thursday dismissed the claims of Russian contractor Mosmetrostroy that it walked out of the project due to a tussle on payment, confirming that the ‘contractor-less’ Anna Salai stretch would be completed by 2017.

“They just walked out of the project and now they are making statements that don’t sound sensible,” said a senior Metro Rail official.

The statement from the official comes after Chennai Metro terminated the contract with both Mosmetrostroy and Gammon who were jointly awarded the contract to build underground stations at Government Estate, LIC building, Thousand Lights, Gemini, Teynampet, Chamiers Road and Saidapet along with twin bored tunnels covering over 6.4 km.

“Just for Rs 50 crore to Rs 60 crore, they walked out of the project leaving behind Rs 100 crore bank guarantee as well as Rs 100 crore of equipment. They had all the provisions in the contract to go in for adjudication or arbitration,” the official said.

Metro is now looking ahead. “Our concern is to finish the work at the earliest,” said a Chennai Metro Rail official.

“Fresh tenders would be called by the end of this month. The project on the Anna Salai stretch could be finished by 2017,” he said.

He also said the elevated stretch would be completed by the end of this financial year and the underground stretch from Chennai Egmore to Thirumangalam would be done by June next year.

In their defence, a Mosmetro India official said the firm abandoned the project due to pressure from sub vendors to whom Mosmetrostroy owed money.

“They changed the alignment and we had to dig an extra three metres. The soil below 13 metres was rocky and it affected our equipment and this led to cost escalation. Chennai Metro did not incorporate the difference in prices despite changing the alignment,” said the Metro rail official.