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Bombay high court refuses to interfere with award of Metro 2B contract

A 75-year-old had filed a PIL challenging the MMRDA’ decision to award the contract for construction of 11 stations to the firm Simplex Infrastructure Limited.

mumbai Updated: Mar 13, 2018 00:50 IST
Kanchan Chaudhari
Kanchan Chaudhari
Hindustan Times
mumbai,high court,contract
The court has now posted the PIL for further hearing in regular course.(Representational photo)

The Bombay high court on Monday refused to interfere with a Rs1,080-crore contract to be awarded by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) for construction of 11 stations on the Metro 2B corridor between DN Nagar and Mankhurd.

On the contrary, the division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Riyaz Chagla felt that the petitioner, a 76-year-old Vile Parle resident, Bhagwanji Raiyani, should be asked to deposit a hefty sum as he had sought the quashing of award of a contract.

Raiyani had approached the high court, challenging the MMRDA’s December 2017 decision to award the contract for construction of 11 stations on Metro 2B corridor. Raiyani argued that the contractor, Simplex Infrastructure Limited, had committed breaches in construction of the Lalbaug Flyover.He contended that the condition of the Lalbaug Flyover deteriorated within five years of its construction by the firm.

Awarding of the contract to the firm would put the citizens’ lives at risk, alleged Raiyani.

Acting on the public interest litigation (PIL) filed by him, the high court in April 2017 directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) commissioner to inquire into the alleged breaches – either himself or through an officer nominated by him. However, the inquiry has not yet been completed.

Moreover, the contractor was being awarded fresh contracts despite the breaches noted by high court.

On Monday, Raiyani’s lawyer, advocate Sumedha Rao pointed out that the inquiry into the breaches had not been completed in six weeks after the April 2017 order, and the contractor was being declared ‘technically qualified’ and being awarded fresh contracts.

The bench, however, did not accept the contention that because the contractor allegedly committed breaches in the construction of a flyover, the firm should not be awarded any other contract, especially when there was no conclusive evidence regarding the breaches.

The court has now posted the PIL for further hearing in regular course.

MMRDA floats tenders for Metro-5 corridor

MMRDA on Monday invited tenders for appointing general consultants for the Metro-5 (Thane-Bhiwandi-Kalyan) corridor.

“General consultants are expected to provide all necessary assistance to MMRDA during tendering and finalization process of the tenders,” said a statement released by MMRDA. The tenders will be finalized in May.

The 24-km long metro line will have 17 stations with an expected ridership of 2.29 lakh passengers by 2021. The project was passed by Maharashtra state cabinet in October, 2017.

First Published: Mar 13, 2018 00:48 IST