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Top firms vying for contract

india Updated: Dec 20, 2006 00:55 IST
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REPRESENTATIVES OF some of the biggest names in the construction business made a beeline for Musakhedi on Tuesday in a bid to bag the mammoth Rs 250 crore pipeline-laying contract for Narmada-III.

Twenty-one delegates representing 13 firms including Essar, Nagarjuna Construction, Mann Industries and Subhash Project Marketing Limited (SMPL), checked in at a pre-bid meet for the contract to lay gravity, rising, raw water, clear water and feeder mains for the water supply project.

Deputy Project Director, Project Managing Unit, USWEIP, M A Khan, Project Implementation Unit head Prabhash Sankhla, Municipal Commissioner Vinod Sharma and R Shekhawat from Louis Berger the project consultants were among those present at the meet.

Hard selling the project, the officials tried to sell the firms to quote the lowest possible bid for the project pointing out that even if they didn’t make a large profit, bagging such a prestigious contract would look good on their firm’s resume.

While the representatives assented, most voiced fears about delay in payments and expressed concern about the Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) track record on the issue.

Several firms also sought clarifications on clauses pertaining to operations and maintenance, design consultancy and provisions for punitive measures in case of delays listed in the agreement.

Sources revealed that most of the queries were dealt with on the spot. In matters pertaining to technical issues, however, the representatives were asked to submit the question in writing.

“We have set a deadline of 10 days for answering the written questions and issuing addendums, if any, to the contract agreement. In this way the process will be wrapped up well before tender bids are scheduled to be opened on January 19,” revealed a PIU official. “If all goes according to plan pipeline laying will begin by April, 2007,” he added.

Apart from gravity, rising and raw water mains, the contract in question involves laying 1,000 diameter MS pipes from the intake well to the control room and feeder mains ranging from 600 to 1700 mm to connect the control room to 30-odd overhead tanks to be built under Narmada-III. “All pipes exceeding 600 mm will be MS while DI pipes will be used in case of smaller diameter,” concluded the PIU official.