Louis Berger bags contract to manage Mumbai Metro-4
US-based firm was under scrutiny for bribing ministers in Goa and Assam in 2015; MMRDA says firm not blacklistedUpdated: Apr 11, 2018 10:30 IST
Louis Berger, part of DB Engineering-led consortium, has bagged a contract for project and construction management services for the Metro-4 (Wadala-Thane-Kasarvadavli) corridor. As part of the consortium that includes DB Engineering and Hill International, Louis Berger will prepare, package and finalise tender documents for system contracts.
The 32.32-km-long Wadala-Ghatkopar-Thane-Kasarvadavli Metro will connect Wadala in central Mumbai and the neighbouring Thane district via the Eastern Express highway. The elevated metro corridor will have 32 stations.
In July 2015, the US-based firm’s India unit was under scrutiny, after senior officials of the company allegedly admitted to bribing ministers to bag consultancy projects in Goa and Assam. A month later, the state ordered an inquiry into consultancy contracts awarded to the firm.
“Louis Berger self-identified, self-investigated and voluntarily self-reported improper payments made in 2010 and prior by former managers who were separated from the company following the results of our early investigations,” a company spokesperson said.
Stating that they have not been barred by any government agency from tendering, they said, “As a company based in the US, we reported these issues to the US Department of Justice and supported their investigations, finally resulting in a settlement with the US government in 2015. We remain committed to cooperate fully with Indian authorities in their investigation. Louis Berger, operating under the new leadership in India, is committed to ethical business practices, having invested more than $25 million over seven years to bring in world-class compliance systems, policies and ethical standards.”
“This latest win highlights Louis Berger’s commitment and contribution to India’s strategic growth,” said Jim Bach, president of Louis Berger’s International division, in a release.
The firm has also been named as consultant for the Versova-Bandra Sea Link (VBSL) project and a package of the 701-km Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway.
Pravin Darade, additional metropolitan commissioner, MMRDA, said, “The company has not been blacklisted and it is a part of a consortium. Even if the state government takes action now, we can ask the consortium to look for a different partner.”
The corridor is expected to provide connectivity between the eastern expressway, central railway, monorail, proposed Metro 2B (D N Nagar and Mandale), proposed Metro 5 (Thane to Kalyan), proposed Metro 6 (Swami Samarth Nagar to Vikhroli) and Metro 8 (Wadala to GPO). The total estimated cost of the construction is ₹15,549 crore ($2.26 billion USD).