The Rs 1,200-crore Inland Water Transport Project again received lukewarm response after only one bidder submitted technical bids for the project.
The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) had postponed bidding twice on request from 17 bidders who showed interest.
The earlier date for submission was April 14, which was postponed to May 31 and then to June 21. On Monday, only one bidder, M/s Pratibha Industries Limited, submitted technical details for setting up water transport between Nariman Point and Borivli. The project is aimed at decongesting the city’s transport network on the western front by exploiting waterways between the two points with four terminals in between at Bandra, Juhu, Versova and Marve. “For the third time the project didn’t receive much response. So we will go ahead with the financial bid for the project, although there is only one bidder," said Sonia Sethi, managing director, MSRDC.
The MSRDC has been acting as the nodal agency for implementing the project since 2002. In 2004, a consortium led by Satyagiri Shipping was given the contract for developing water transport but after four years of no real progress the state government cancelled the tender in 2008 saying it did not have confidence in the firm.
Officials say given the risk involved and scale of the project, fewer firms are willing to back their offer seriously.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority is looking at developing a similar project on the east coast—between Ferry Wharf at Mazgaon and Nerul in Navi Mumbai — but the government is yet to decide on this. Mumbai is the only coastal city that does not have a water transport alternative. Hong Kong, London, Sydney and Bangkok have successfully exploited waterways.