Mumbai: The opening date for the Rs.96-crore tender for the Kurla elevated harbour station was pushed back from August 7 to August 25 due to, what top Central Railway officials called, ‘technical reasons’. However, a group of railway officials maintained that the push-back has raised fears on whether the environment in the railways is ‘good and efficient’ enough for firms to come bidding for a Rs.96-crore work order.
The Rs.96-crore work order involves the creation of a rail flyover starting from the north of Chunabhatti station to the south of Tilaknagar station with a three-line Harbour station right above the current platforms 7 and 8. To be built on stilts, the elevated station would allow goods trains to move on the tracks at ground level while Harbour line trains ‘fly’ over them.
“Central Railway all through July has issued tenders worth Rs.550 crore. However, the fact remains that happy days are here only if there are enough firms to bid for these works. What we have been seeing for a long time is that the bigger construction companies which have the wherewithal to got for work upwards of Rs.100 crore are unwilling to work in the railway set-up which is at times excessively rigid, hierarchical and also prone to delays,” said a CR official. Last year, CR faced such a problem with work orders for several projects in the range of Rs.20-30 crore having to be re-issued as there were no bidders.
However, with the new railway dispensation under minister Suresh Prabhu talking big about completing pending projects and also looking to spend several lakh crore rupees to upgrade the railway infrastructure in the country, officials believe the situation is better than ever before. “Prabhu has made far-reaching changes in the way top-level officials like the general manager as well as members of the Railway Board can deal with even large tenders upwards of Rs.100 crore. We believe the streamlined processes will be attractive for firms to carry out these works,” said a top-ranking railway official.
July 04 : Rs.96 crore Kurla elevated harbour station order
July 19 : Rs.177 crore order for Ahmednagar-Beed-Parli project
July 21 : Rs.38 crore tender for Panvel terminus project
July 30 : Rs.120 crore order for Ahmednagar-Beed-Parli project
July 31 : Rs.105 crore for the Kalyan-Kasara 3rd line project