Both L&T and NCRTC did not confirm whether the Indian company stands to gain. A senior government official, however, said once the lowest bidder is established, it normally takes about two to four weeks for the authority to award the project to the winner. In this case, a decision is yet to be taken.
“It is too soon to say that the L1 bidder will be replaced by the L2 bidder; these are not normal circumstances….we need time to come to a conclusion,” an official in the know told Business Standard.
When asked whether the second lowest bidder will be asked to match the first lowest bidder’s amount to bag the project, the official said, “These things are decided on a case-by-case basis.”
Shanghai Tunnel Engineering Company emerged as the lowest bidder for construction of the 5.6 km New Ashok Nagar-Sahibabad underground tunnel of the 82 km Delhi-Meerut RRTS project.
However, the winning bid by the Chinese company has been contested by the Swadeshi Jagran Manch, an affiliate of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), due to the ongoing standoff between the two nations.
RRTS is being implemented by NCRTC, a joint sector company of the Centre and Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh state governments.
Modelled on the suburban train network in Europe and North America, RRTS has been planned by the central government starting with the Delhi-Alwar (Rajasthan) corridor, at an investment of Rs 375.39 billion. It is planned to be completed in about six years after approval of the project report.
It would be funded by the central government, state governments and funding agencies.
The length of the corridor is 180.50 km in which the elevated portion is (124.5 km) and underground portion is (56 km) corridor. There would be 19 stations — nine underground and 10 elevated.
Train’s design speed would be 180 km per hour, while operational speed would be 160 kmph and average speed 100 kmph. The proposed trains would have air-conditioned cars with business and economy classes. RRTS has three prioritised corridors — Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut (90 km), Delhi-Gurugram-Rewari-Alwar (180 km) and Delhi-Sonepat-Panipat (111 km).