Pune Ring Road: Project tender controversy continues unresolved

With the monsoon session of the Maharashtra State Legislature beginning on Thursday (June 27), intense discussions on this topic are anticipated.
Image for representational use
Image for representational use

Pune: The issue of inflated tenders for the Ring Road project remains unresolved as the third-party audit report by the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) is still pending even after three weeks. This delay has heightened suspicions surrounding the tender process.

The ambitious state government project, aimed at alleviating traffic congestion in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad, involves the construction of a 127 km long and 110 meters wide Ring Road. The project is divided into two phases: East and West.

The MSRDC initiated the tender process, dividing the work into nine packages. Twelve companies submitted bids, with the tenders being opened in Mumbai. Megha Engineering and Navayuga Engineering emerged as the lowest bidders for three packages each, while PMC Infra, Roadway Solution India Infra, and GR Infra secured one package each.

Concerns arose as some of the companies involved were linked to the alleged scam in electoral bond and had submitted bids at inflated rates. The tenders received were 40-50% higher than the initial estimates, significantly increasing the project's cost. With the monsoon session of the state legislature beginning on Thursday (27th), intense discussions on this topic are anticipated.

Current Situation:

  • High Bid Rates: After scrutinizing the tenders, it was found that the bids were 40-50% higher than the MSRDC's initial estimates, nearly doubling the project's cost. 'Sakal' was the first to report this issue.

  • Third-Party Audit Delay: The MSRDC appointed a technical firm in Mumbai to review the tenders. However, more than three weeks have passed, and the report is yet to be received. Officials, speaking anonymously, confirmed the delay.

Cost Implications:

The estimated cost of the project by MSRDC was around INR 16,000 crore. Due to the inflated bids, the cost is now expected to rise to INR 22,000-23,000 crore.

Accepting these high bids may lead to controversy, while re-tendering could delay the project by another three to six months, placing the MSRDC in a difficult position.

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