6:07 am - Friday November 6, 2015

Reliance Infra exits Mumbai Metro Phase II, blames govt for not meeting promises

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Mumbai: Blaming the Maharashtra government for “non-fulfilment of certain critical obligations”, Reliance Infrastructure (RInfra) today walked out of the contract to develop the Rs 12,000-crore Charkop-Bandra-Makhurd Metro corridor in Mumbai.

“Due to non-fulfilment of various obligations by the state government, the concession agreement for the Mumbai Metro Line 2 (Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd corridor) is terminated despite the best efforts by the company and the state,” the Anil Ambani-led company said in statement.

The decision caps months of rumours about the company walking of the project.

The project was awarded to an RInfra-led consortium through an international competitive bidding in 2009 and the company was holding 48 per cent in the now terminated deal.

The statement further said the concessionaire signed the termination agreement at “no cost and no claims” to either party and the state administration will return the Rs 160-crore bank guarantee to the company.

The company had achieved financial closure for the project way back in October 2010.

RInfra already runs the city’s first metro line connecting the western suburb of Versova with Ghatkopar on the east since May.

The 32-km long fully-elevated Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd corridor was awarded to an RInfra-led consortium in August 2009 through an international competitive bidding.

The second line was stuck due to pending environment clearances for a car depot at Mankhurd on the northeastern suburb planned to take care of maintenance work.

The state government and RInfra had signed the termination agreement at ‘no cost and no claims’ to either party, the release said, adding the state would return the
bank guarantee of Rs 160 crore to the company.

Meanwhile, MMRDA said the concession agreement arrived at between the state government and Mumbai Metro Transport (RInfra-led consortium) has been terminated “mutually”.

“The concession agreement arrived at between the State and MMTPL has been terminated mutually. A formal communication from MMTPL for return of the bank guarantee is awaited and the procedure to return the money will follow immediately thereafter,” the State-run development agency said in a statement this evening.

With the termination of the agreement, all commitments or liabilities of RInfra towards the project have been annulled with immediate effect, the statement added.

The previous Congress government led by Prithviraj Chavan had merged the Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd metro corridor with the proposed Dahisar-Charkop line and also planned to construct the entire project underground instead of elevated line as originally planned.

The new Dahisar-Bandra-Mankhurd line will be around 40.2 km long and will have 37 underground stations and is estimated to cost over Rs 28,000 crore, the costliest project ever undertaken in the state.

The city development authority MMRDA is currently conducting a feasibility study on this line.

Meanwhile, the MMRDA is in the process of finalising bidders for the third 32.5-km Colaba-Bandra-Seepz underground corridor envisaging an investment of Rs 23,000 crore.

The state has also decided to execute both metro projects under engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) model.

RInfra had not participated in the bidding process for the third line.

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