L&T and Afcons Bid to Complete Chennai Metro’s Government Estate – Saidapet Section

The Chennai Metro Rail Limited earlier this week announced that Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and Afcons Infrastructure were the only two companies who bid for completing the Government Estate to Saidapet section (contracts UAA-02 and UAA-03) of the International Airport to Washermenpet metro line. This section was originally awarded to Gammon & Mosmetrostroy, but they abruptly pulled out of the project earlier this year due to rising costs and left behind material & equipment worth at least Rs 200 crore!

Inside a tunnel constructed by L&T for Chennai Metro - Photo Copyright: Larsen & Toubro

Inside a tunnel constructed by L&T for Chennai Metro – Photo Copyright: Larsen & Toubro

After canceling Gammon & Mosmetrostroy’s contract and encashing their Rs 100 crore bank guarantee (like a boss), the CMRL invited bids for completing the 2 sections:

• BW-UG-02 (originally UAA-02) – Design and construction of balance works of underground stations at Government Estate, LIC Building and Thousand Lights and associated tunnels (see bidding document)
• BW-UG-03 (originally UAA-03) – Design and construction of balance works of underground stations at AG-DMS, Teynampet, Nanadanam, Saidapet and Saidapet ramp portion and associated tunnels (see bidding document)

Here’s a map I’ve made which shows these 2 sections which happen to be continuous:

Section of Chennai Metro's Line 1 from Saidapet to Government Estate - view full map

Section of Chennai Metro’s Line 1 from Saidapet to Government Estate – view full map

According to the CMRL, 70% of the work on UAA-02 & 90% of the work on UAA-03 has been completed so far.

As per a senior official:

The companies are the best we have in building tunnels. Their expertise combined with the knowledge of the terrain in Chennai and work culture will help them complete the rest of the work under Anna Salai. They know the challenges in boring tunnels in Chennai. Afcons had to stop their machines a few times after buildings developed cracks in Broadway. These experiences will come in handy while planning the work on the rest of the corridor on Anna Salai.

With L&T already working on UAA-04 (Nehru Park to Pachiappa College) and Afcons working on UAA-01 (Washermenpet to Egmore) & UAA-05 (Shenoy Nagar to Thiurmangalam), it makes perfect economical sense that they would bid for completing these 2 sections as they’ve already got the requisite manpower & equipment in the city to finish the project. For a new company to bid, the margin/ROI would be questionable. Besides, the time taken to kickstart work would greatly eat into the project’s stipulated completion time-frame.

With these two companies announced, all that is remaining is to announce the actual winner of each contract. I expect that to be made within the next 2 weeks followed by the contractor turning up on-site in January 2016.

For more updates on Chennai’s Metro, check out the Chennai section of The Metro Rail Guy!

– TMRG

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Global traveler who prefers mass rapid transit

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