Nagpur: Supreme Court on Thursday cleared the way for work to begin on the Metro rail stretch from Hingna Road depot to Sitabuldi. It set aside the order issued by Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court in favour of joint venture (JV) between Tata Projects Limited (TPL) and Guangdong Yuantian Engineering Company (GYT). The SC decided on the case within one month preventing further delay in the project.
The work on Sitabuldi-Hingna depot section of Metro rail was slated to begin in April but got stuck due to litigation between Nagpur Metro Rail Corporation Limited (NMRCL) and the JV. The litigation started when NMRCL rejected the technical bid of JV. According to NMRCL, the Tata-led JV had experience in construction of high speed rail but not Metro rail.
The JV challenged the decision in Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court, which directed the NMRCL to open its financial bid too. One of the bidders, Afcons, then challenged this order in Supreme Court in the role of an intervener. The SC first granted a status quo on August 22 but decided in favour of NMRCL and Afcons on Thursday.
A NMRCL official said that five companies had bid for the work — Larsen & Toubro, Nagarjuna Construction Company (NCC), Afcons, ITD and the Tata-led JV. “Now we will evaluate the bids of the first four companies. This process will be completed as early as possible and work order will be issued,” he added.
The length of the Sitabuldi-Hingna section is about 9 km. The estimated cost of the construction is about 440 crore. The geotechnical survey of this section had been done months ago.
Meanwhile, the work on Mihan-Sitabuldi stretch of the Metro is going on at a fast pace. NMRCL has so far erected 12 pillars and is in the process of erecting another 35. NMRCL has also launched two horizontal spans. Construction of two stations on this stretch has also started. Work has also started on construction of eight pillars near the main railway station.
The agency has also sent tender for Sitabuldi-Wardhaman Nagar stretch to its prime lender KfW, a German financial institution, for vetting. Once it is cleared, the tender will be floated.
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