Bengaluru: Delay prompts BMRCL to end firm’s contract | Bengaluru News – Times of India
The Kolkata-based construction firm had in 2017 received the contract for two elevated Metro lines: 7.5km Kalena Agrahara-Swagath Road Cross on Bannerghatta Road and the 3km Nagasandra-Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC) on Tumakuru Road. The work was supposed to be completed in 2019.
However, only 35% civil work on Bannerghatta Road and 68% on Tumakuru Road were over by December 2020.
The work on Bannerghatta Road has now completely stopped. However, Simplex will continue to work on Tumakuru Road since it’s a small section. This is probably for the first time BMRCL is taking such a tough step against a civil contractor for delay in work.
BMRCL managing director Ajay Seth said: “We’ve issued a termination notice since the elevated section was getting delayed as Simplex was unable to perform. BMRCL expects it to complete work on Tumakuru Road.”
Simplex was unavailable for comments.
Tender for pending work
BMRCL will have to float a fresh tender to complete the pending work. “It’s a challenge to select a new firm since it is a time-consuming process. Many contractors are now facing financial distress especially after the pandemic, so it is also not easy for them to mobilise additional resources. BMRCL may float a short-time tender and firms already working with them may be keen to take up this work,” said an expert.
BMRCL set a June-2024 deadline for Kalena Agrahara-Nagawara corridor. In September 2017, BMRCL awarded this section including five Metro stations — Kalena Agrahara (Gottigere), Hulimavu, IIM Bengaluru, JP Nagar 4th Phase and Swagath Road Cross — to Simplex at a cost of Rs 579 crore. While Kalena Agrahara-Swagath Road Cross is elevated, the underground section is between Dairy Circle and Nagawara.
In February 2017, Simplex received the BIEC Metro contract with three stations including Manjunathanagar, Chikkabidarkallu (Jindal) and Madavara (BIEC), at a cost of Rs 299 crore. Officials said Nagasandra-BIEC will be completed in January 2022.
Incidentally, last year, United Bank of India, the leader of a consortium of 28 lenders, identified Simplex as a ‘non-performing asset’.