L&T Only Bidder for Chennai Metro Line-5’s Underground Work

Larsen & Toubro is yet again the only bidder for constructing another package of Chennai Metro’s 47 km Line-5 after Chennai Metro Rail Ltd. (CMRL) opened technical bids for Package UG-06 last Saturday.

This roughly 5.8 km underground civil package consists of twin tunnels and 5 underground stations between Kolathur and Nathamuni of the mostly elevated Line-5 which will connect Madhavaram and Sholinganallur through 48 stations.

CMRL invited tenders for UG06 in January 2021 with a 1395 day (3.8 years) completion deadline. They require a minimum of 4 tunnel boring machines (TBMs) to be deployed for tunneling here, and out of those 2 must be sourced from Japanese manufacturers, per the conditions laid out by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Tender: CMRL/CON/PHASE-II/CORR-5/CP06/UG06/2021

Brief Scope: Construction of underground stations at Kolathur, Srinivasa Nagar, Villivakam Sub-urban Station, Villivakam bus-terminus and Nathamuni with entry / exit, ventilation shafts, plumbing, earthmat, architectural finishes including signages etc. including twin bored tunnels from Kolathur retrieval shaft to Nathamuni launching shaft and ramps with U – section in corridor-5 of CMRL phase-II project

CMRL’s official Phase 2 map with my edits showcasing this package’s route between Kolathur and Nathamuni – view Phase 2 info & route map

Whether CMRL is satisfied or not with receiving just 1 bid across 3 packages remains to be seen. If they aren’t, then this and others will head to a retender. If they are, then L&T’s technical bid will be evaluated for the next steps in the tendering process.

With this development, here’s a status of all 5 civil packages on Line-5 (north to south). L&T was awarded 1 package and is the only bidder for 3 packages:

Package CP10-EV-03 – 10.2 km viaduct, 11 elevated stations and 1 underground station between CMBT and Venugopal NagarTechnical Bid Evaluation Underway – L&T is the only bidder
Package UG6 – 5.8 km underground section with 5 stations from Kolathur and NathamuniTechnical Bid Evaluation Underway – L&T is the only bidder (this post!)
Package C5-ECV-02 – 12.431 km elevated section from CMBT to Alwartiru Nagar and from Porur Junction to Puzhuthivakkam with 12 stationsTechnical Bid Evaluation Underway – Larsen & Toubro is the only bidder
Line-4 & 5: Package C4-ECV-01 – 7.955 km elevated section from Power House to Porur Junction with 9 stationsAwarded to Larsen & Toubro
Package C5-ECV-03 – 11.61 km elevated section with 11 stations from Puzhuthivakkam to SholinganallurTechnical Bid Evaluation Underway – 3 Bids Received in June

A list of all Phase 2 civil packages and their status can be viewed here.

For more updates, check out the Chennai section or my Home Page!


written by

Global traveler who prefers mass rapid transit

10 Responses to "L&T Only Bidder for Chennai Metro Line-5’s Underground Work"

  1. Danny Helliwell says:

    Dear Metro Rail Guy.

    The government should think and ponder why only one bid has been received. I recall Afcons And Gammon used to bid also. Although I haven’t seen Gammon bidding but why Afcons is not. Why other agencies in other states are able to interest so many contractors to bid but Chennai Metro cannot. Perhaps, rot is within Chennai Metro. I mean personal egos of people higher up on the tree who have burned bridges with the contractors.
    Love to have other views .


    • Sanjay TOMAR says:

      L&T is experienced company in underground metro train good choice for contract.

    • Deepak Ravindran says:

      I suspect there are a couple of visible reasons for this

      1. Labor and overheads are relatively cheaper in other metro cities. I’m from Chennai/TN and have experience working in the energy infrastructure industry and can categorically say that sourcing and sustaining labor from the south is significantly more expensive and difficult to manage. Even if you bring labor from the North to address this, it still means additonal overhead costs due to accomodation, travel etc.

      2. The other reason is the significant bureaucratic delays in shifting utilities and services in Chennai/TN relative to other towns.

      3. The pandemic. The unfortunate plight of migrant workers last year has dampened the spirits (justifiably) of many workers from the north which further compunds problem no.1 stated above.

    • TMRG says:

      Danny – indeed concerning and I think it’s a combination of different reasons as others pointed out. Some other possible reasons:

      1. Firms do not see any money being made for the effort being put in
      2. Firms do not want to work with CMRL (Afcons and Gammon got into legal battles with CMRL in Phase 1)
      3. Firms do not feel comfortable working in Chennai. Each firm has a hunting ground with established / dependable suppliers (eg. J Kumar in Mumbai, Ranjit Buildcon in Gujarat etc.)

      Big and small contractors all visit the site, so curious to see what their biz development folks have to say. Please chime in 🙂

  2. Arif says:

    We said. Big players are keeping themselves out of Chennai Metro. CMRL has not attracted or may be the contractors are not feeling safe to work in down south. We haven’t seen any healthy competition so far. 118 KM of Metro construction with only 3 to 4 bidders. Take MML3 as example.

  3. Sorna says:

    L&T only master of construction in our India now

  4. Instrumentation says:

    I heard that Afcons are banned bidding from CMRL tender for next few years due to some conflict in past contracts. Gammon couldn’t able to complete their works and ran in midway at UGC03 contract and the rest of the works has been completed by Afcons.

  5. Sundar says:

    Most of the financially sound engineering contractors’ order books are already full..close 50 kms of fresh 4 lan roads are constructed every day in india. Earlier financially unsound contractors made JV with overseas companies were bidding. Now with strict watch on overseas JV by central government, it is going to be like this

  6. Maganvihari Saini says:

    L&T underground metro projects my choice
    Sr Auto Electrician


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