Thursday, September 03, 2009

Govt to speed up rail work

Govt to speed up rail work
P M Raghunandan, Bangalore, Sept 3, DHNS:

Even as the economy is beginning to show signs of recovery, the State government has decided to test the market situation by going ahead with the tendering process of the Rs 5,000-crore high-speed rail project to the BIA.

The State Infrastructure Development Department has fixed September 11 as the date for holding the Request For Qualification (RFQ) meeting for companies which have shown interest in the project. The RFQ meeting was put off thrice in the past one year, as these companies were not ready to venture into the project at the time of slowdown.

No further delay
“We will not postpone the RFQ meeting any more. The government is hopeful that all 32 firms will participate, as the economy is showing signs of recovery. Whoever is shortlisted in the RFQ meeting will be asked to participate in the bid. We want the project work to begin in six months’ time,” Department Principal Secretary V Madhu said.

The RFQ meeting was first fixed in September 2008. But many of these firms sought more time, as they were facing financial constraints due to the economic slowdown. The department agreed to their request.

The meetings scheduled for March and August this year were also postponed.
As many as 32 firms from across the globe have expressed interest in the Rs 5,000-crore project, which is proposed to be implemented on PPP model.
They include Reliance Infrastructure, Tata Realty and Infrastructure (both in India), Mitsubishi Corporation, (Japan), CAF, Construcciones Network Ltd and IERS (South Africa), Dywidag (Germany), Alstom Transport (France).

The project is planned to link the city (Police Parade ground off MG Road) with the international airport (34 kms) with a high speed rail.

Sources in the department said that there will not be further delay, as it would only make the project financially unattractive, and not viable for investors due to cost escalation. If the project is delayed for another year, it has to be re-worked entirely, sources pointed out.

Sources also said that if majority of these firms backed off, the department may have to go for re-tendering or throw the project open under the Swiss challenge method.

Chugging On

* Govt to hold meet for high speed rail project on Sept 11
* No more postponement of meeting.
* Some firms want it to be put off again due to slowdown

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