Was Pune Metro consultancy contract given without competitive bidding?

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Systra India
Systra India

Pune: There is negative buzz around Pune Metro consultancy contract. It is alleged that the contract was given without tendering. The work has been given to a consortium of four companies, led by France-based infrastructure consulting firm Systra.

Systra won the contract for General Consultant (GC) for Phase-1 of the Pune Metro Rail Project. As per popular business news portal, Business Line, the contract was awarded without the competitive bidding process.

The Pune Metro Phase-1 project estimated at ₹11,420-crore. Work for the project is taken up by Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation (Maha Metro) – a joint venture company between  the Government of India and the Government of Maharashtra.

Maha Metro in 2016 had reinstated Nagpur Metro Rail Corporation (NMRCL) to manage all metro projects in the State.

Sources from the industry shedding light on the issue shared that in June 2016, the syndicate of Systra, US-based AECOM, Egis Rail (a part of France-headquartered Egis Group), and state-owned RITES was given the ₹221-crore GC contract for Nagpur Metro’s first phase project. Interestingly the same association was given a contract for providing Interim Consultancy for the Pune project in 2017.

In fact even in 2018, the same consortium won Pune metro worth about ₹300 crore GC contract. This event has irked many other contenders who allege that formal tendering procedures were not initiated.

Last year in an interview with a Magazine, Brijesh Dixit, Managing Director, Maha Metro, said that a lot of work for bidding process was done for Nagpur Metro before Systra-led consortium) came on-board. In case of bidding process, 40 per cent was done by them and the rest was carried out by them.

Dixit also added that in the case of Pune Metro, they will put them on board right in the commencement so that the procedure is even quicker than it was in Nagpur. To begin with, for the first year, they will have the same consortium at work in Pune as well.

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