BMRCL to Go-Ahead with Awarding Contract for ORR Metro

BMRCL plans to go ahead with the awarding of contract for ORR Metro Project, for which it is yet to receive a formal approval from Central Government. The authority (BMRCL) is hopeful of getting the Centre’s nod to a detailed project report (DPR) on the 19-km Outer Ring Road (ORR) Metro corridor in three months.

The DPR, which was submitted in March last year, has been pending for approval in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) with the nodal agency asking BMRCL to re-draft the document at least thrice in the past.

The transport utility, however, said that the Centre’s approval is not coming in the way of tender schedule with BMRCL’s originally planning to award the contract for civil construction of the Phase II (A) project in mid-2020.

“We have nearly completed the technical evaluation of the bids. It will be sent to the Asian Development Bank, a key financier of the project, in about 10 days. The approval from the Central Government might take about two-three months,” said Ajay Seth, BMRCL Managing Director.

“We can continue with the bidding process without waiting for approval.” It’s learnt that the Urban Development Department, Government of Karnataka, gave it’s clearance to the BMRCL to go ahead and float the tenders in December last year without waiting for Centre’s nod for the DPR. The BMRCL, officials said, would approach the government again before awarding the contract. The officer was not sure when the clearance from the Centre would come, given the Covid-19 situation around the country.

About three months after floating the tender, Namma Metro authorities had opened the bids in March. Nine construction companies participated in the tender that was split into two packages (about 9-km each). While the technical evaluation is currently under way, officials said it’s too early to disclose if any company will be disqualified.

Official documents show that the BMRCL was first directed to revise the DPR in May last year, which is about three months after the document was submitted to the Ministry. It took about seven months to revise the DPR as the BMRCL was directed to bring down the cost of construction, especially with respect to building stations and also re-work on the DPR, keeping in mind the Metro Policy of 2017.

After the first revision, the BMRCL was asked to furnish clarifications twice, once in January and another time in February this year. The transport utility responded to these questions in less than one week, indicating that the BMRCL was doing its best to get early clearance.

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