The economic slowdown seems to have hit plans to improve the city’s mass transit system by building Metro lines across the city.
The second Metro line was in abeyance for over two years with its initial alignment of Colaba-Bandra-Charkop being changed to Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd in 2006 as MMRDA felt the cost of the initial project was too high.
The initial enthusiasm of the seven bidders seemed to ebb with the slowdown and bidders were seeking extensions to submit financial bids.
Bidders said that construction problems and protests by people along with recession have unnerved them.
“You have some top business firms with full coffers keeping away. There are certain issues like right of way that need to be issued before the bidders will feel confident on betting such large amounts,” said an official from one of the bidding firms on condition of anonymity.
The states precarious financials condition also makes it difficult for the government to take up such projects on its own.
Infrastructure experts are, however, critical “The government can commit money to build projects like Mumbai Trans Harbour Link but expects private investors to build mass transit systems. This is not fair,” said former chief planner of MMRDA, V.K. Pathak.