BUILDERS OF Crystal IT Park, Indore, Nagarjuna Construction Co Ltd, has moved the MP High Court against Audyogik Kendra Vikas Nigam (AKVN) to secure the appointment of an arbitrator and to resolve the payment dispute through arbitration.
AKVN had awarded civil construction work worth Rs 43.17 crore for the IT Park coming up near Khandwa Road to Nagarjuna Construction Co in August 2003. However, AKVN terminated the contract after the RCC work of the buildings was completed in late 2006, but final payment has become a subject of dispute.
AKVN Managing Director Ashish Shrivastava told Hindustan Times that Nagarjuna was not doing the work properly. “They were mismanaging the project and not mustering the managerial, labour, machinery and material resources,” he said.
Nagarjuna counsel Naman Nagrath, however, said, “The project was delayed as designs were changed frequently and there was escalation in costs of construction goods like cement and steel in the interim.” The company is also claiming unpaid bills of over Rs 2 crore for the approved work.
The Rs 85.5 crore Crystal IT Park is being part-financed through a Rs 40 crore term loan from State Bank of Indore. Mumbai-based Uday Joshi & Co is rendering architectural services.
Spread over roughly 20 acres, the Crystal IT Park, which has been designated as special economic zone (SEZ) for IT/ITES, boasts of two nearly complete buildings and an additional six blocks slated to come up later, making for total ground coverage of 23,970 sq metres including amenities.
The progress of Crystal IT Park has generally been slow. When the civil contract was awarded in August 2003, work was expected to be complete in 15 months, which was November 2004. The RCC work was completed in mid 2006, but AKVN has left out the finishing so that those moving in can design the interiors to match their requirements.
Meanwhile, AKVN has engaged the property services arm of ICICI Bank to market the IT Park to attract potential investors. The bank is assisting AKVN in formulating tender documents and other paperwork.
Although home-grown IT companies such as Impetus have bid twice for leasing space in the IT Park, the Nigam wants to attract majors like TCS and Infosys to the Park to showcase the State’s potential as an IT hub, say sources. This explains the third round of tendering for the IT Park, preparations for which are in full swing.