Retendering for Phase 2 underground section likely

The tender for civil work on the 13.7-km underground section of Gottigere-Nagawara line is likely to be cancelled as the amount quoted by the lowest bidders exceeded the BMRCL's estimates by more than 60%.

The 22-km line designated Reach 6 in Phase 2 of Namma Metro, has a 7.5-km elevated section, where the civil work started in the mid-2017.

The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) called the tender for the four packages of the underground section in June 2017 and set August 28, 2017, as the last date.

However, the bid was not opened till two weeks ago due to various issues, including the process involved in obtaining a loan from international banks. Four companies had bid for the four packages, with each taking the minimum bidders in one package.

While the BMRCL estimated the cost for four packages at Rs 5,047.56 crore, the lowest bidding amount was reported as Rs 8,553.45 crore.

"We can't give the contract for such costly bidding. We are negotiating with the companies to lower their price," said BMRCL Managing Director Mahendra Jain, adding that "retendering is inevitable if the companies do not agree to the corporation's request."

 

Tweaking the project

As cancellation of the tender would lead to delay, the BMRCL is considering tweaking the project to reduce the challenging tunnel section.

"We are looking at the possibility of reducing the length of the underground section," Jain said.

Any delay in the project would lead to cost escalation. The BMRCL had earlier said 13 tunnel boring machines (TBMs) would be used for the project with each package having at least four machines, to expedite the project. The deadline for Phase 2 has been extended from December 2020 to March 2021.

Activist Sanjeev Dyamannavar said the corporation would not be able to meet the deadline considering the delay in commissioning the civil work.

"Retendering requires another six or seven months. Even after getting the work order, it takes about a year to get the TBMs, which have to be imported," he said.

 

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