First it was irate residents, then the slowdown and now the electoral code of conduct.
All in all, it seems unlikely that work on the second line of the Metro Rail will begin by March, as scheduled.
January 30 should have been the last day for accepting financial bids for the 32-km Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd link, and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority planned to start construction a month later.
But bidders, hit by the slowdown, have now asked that the deadline for submitting the bids be extended by two weeks.
“We have extended the date from January 30 to February 16,” said Additional Metropolitan Commissioner Milind Mhaiskar.
With notification of the elections expected sometime in February, officials are now doubtful about whether work on the Rs 6,192-crore project will begin as scheduled.
“We may not be able to finish all the paper work before the code of conduct kicks in, and that could mean no work orders for the project during election time,” said a senior MMRDA official.
As per the Election Commission’s code of conduct, no fresh work orders may be issued by a government in the period just before and during an election.
The Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd link, the longest in the state government’s proposed Metro network, earlier faced opposition from residents, who wanted the line to be taken underground rather than overhead.
This line is Part II of the first phase of the three-phase project. The deadline for the second line is 2011.