Embassy claims BFS rebuilding rights

The issues pertaining to the Bangalore Football Stadium have resurfaced after almost two years with the Embassy Group staking a claim over its reconstruction.

A consortium of JSW Bengaluru Football Club Private Limited and Embassy were one of the three tenderers to have an initial bid accepted for the project.

Ozone Group Football Academy Private Limited and Hines India Real Estate Private Limited, and Tuscan Consultants and Developers Private Limited and East China Architectural Design and Research Institute Company Limited (ECADI) were the others.

The JSW-Embassy bid was then rejected by the Karnataka State Football Association’s Tender Committee stating they had failed to comply with the technical criterion that requires the bidder to have previous experience of building at least two stadia.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, AB Mandanna, President (Legal), Embassy Group, said even the other two competitors had not adhered to the criterion.

“Both Ozone and Tuscan do not qualify to win the bid since neither has an annual turnover of Rs 1000 crore, which was the first criterion. In addition, both companies have the same director and are run by the same group (Ozone) but have submitted two different bids.”

In an document dated July 22, 2015, the KSFA had decided to award Ozone and Hines with the task of reconstructing and redeveloping the stadium.

However, at the time of submitting the bids, Ozone did not have a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Hines but had furnished the latter’s yearly turnover in order to win the bid.

But there has been no progress since then, with the issue awaiting clearance from the State Government.

Rajesh Bajaj, Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Embassy Group said his company had sent letters to the Chief Secretary of Urban Development seeking to throw light on the matter.

“We have written to the government on February 27 and sent a reminder on May 24 pointing out irregularities of the bid process and requesting them not to accept it.

“In addition, we feel we should be awarded the contract and are looking at how we can take the sport forward,” he added.

Their partnership with JSW may not have met the technical criteria but Bajaj was confident that if assigned the task, they will have an international team of experts assisting them with the stadium works. “Even though we did not have the experience of building stadia, Embassy as a group has massive exposure with construction and it is for everyone to see.

“But we will stick to the criteria and, if given the contract, we will have an international team of architects, with the necessary experience, to back us.”

As far as their partnership with JSW is concerned, Bajaj said that while there is no agreement now, he would not rule out working with them in the future. KSFA officials were unavailable for comments.
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