Five Chinese companies among eight foreign bidders for Mumbai-Nagpur e-way project
The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) is building the ambitious Mumbai-Nagpur expressway projectmumbai Updated: Jul 26, 2017 10:11 IST
The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), which is building the ambitious Mumbai-Nagpur expressway project, is going to seek security clearance from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) after eight foreign companies, including five Chinese firms, bid for the project.
According to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways guidelines, security clearance is required for foreign companies bidding for highway projects in the country. The MHA is the nodal authority to sanction security clearance to foreign investors under the National Security Clearance Policy. Five Chinese, two Russian and a South Korean company have formally expressed interest in constructing the 706-km expressway.
“If the stake of the foreign partner is more than 50%, we have to seek security clearance from the Centre. We are going to write to the MHA,” said AB Gaikwad, chief engineer, MSRDC. Currently, the MSRDC is evaluating bids from the 27 interested companies and consortia.
“With Chinese companies, it is always a concern because they are not private companies. They are all government companies,” said a senior state government bureaucrat, who did not wish to be named. The Centre, however, claimed there would not be any knee-jerk reactions while evaluating clearance of Chinese companies given the recent standoff between China and India in Sikkim sector.
Recently, a Chinese consortium was disqualified from bidding for the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link after the Centre rejected its security clearance. In the past, Chinese companies or groups with connections to China have been barred from bidding for port projects by the Centre on security grounds. In the past, Chinese companies have been denied security clearance for the construction of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link (BWSL).
The proposed eight-lane access controlled expressway will connect Mumbai and Nagpur. It will not only cut the travel time between the two cities drastically, but the project is touted to become a game-changer for the state.