Chennai Metro|CMRL to find contractor for Saidapet line this month

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Chennai: Metro Rail is planning to award fresh contracts for building the Saidapet-LIC underground stretch by the end of this month. The work on this stretch has been stalled after Russian company Mosmetrostroy abandoned work and metro rail terminated the contract of Gammon-Mosmetrostroy joint venture.

Officials are aiming to start work in December, a month earlier than they had calculated when the contract was terminated.

A senior official said tenders will be opened on October 19 and contracts will be awarded the same day. “Many companies have expressed interest to take up the work. We have extended the date for opening of tenders from September because the companies who evinced interest wanted more time,” he said.

Metro rail will award two contracts — one will be for building tunnels and underground stations between Government Estate and Thousand Lights, the other is for the work between DMS and Saidapet.

The firm that bags the contract will have to build connecting tunnels between the two parallel tunnels bored between Saidapet and DMS, bore two parallel tunnels from DMS to Government Estate and complete balance work of constructing underground stations.

“We are planning to give the contractor 20 months to complete the work. This means the line under Anna Salai and the stations should be ready by the end of 2017. We are also planning to open the other completed stretches in phases next year. Anna Salai’s tunnels and stations will be the last to be completed,” he added.

Metro rail recently received a go ahead from the Madras high court when Gammon challenged the government move to rope in a fresh contractor after taking over the equipment and godowns belonging to Mosmetrostroy. The Russian firm, in charge of building tunnels, had completed around 90% of its work of building tunnels between Saidapet to DMS, leaving only 3km of tunnels from DMS to Government Estate to be bored when they abandoned work under pressure from subcontractors who were demanding payment of escalated costs incurred by additional work which was not taken into account when boring begun. A few metres of tunnels that were remaining till DMS was completed by metro rail recently by roping in Afcons.

The Russian company had to abandon work after metro rail refused to pay the additional expenditure of Rs 100crore which they incurred.

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