RSIIL was one of the five companies that were awarded a Rs 6,000-crore contract for the road.RSIIL was one of the five companies that were awarded a Rs 6,000-crore contract for the road.
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The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) recently made headlines with its decision to terminate a colossal Rs 1,600 crore contract for cement and concrete (CC) roads awarded to Roadways Solutions India Infra Limited (RSIIL). The move, revealed by Industries Minister Uday Samant in the legislative council, follows the blacklisting of RSIIL and the recovery of a hefty Rs 64 crore fine from the company.

According to Minister Samant, the CC road tenders were issued in two phases, with RSIIL initially awarded the contract for 212 roads under a Rs 1,600 crore agreement. However, due to undisclosed reasons leading to delays or other issues, the contract was terminated subsequently. A new tender was later floated, reducing the scope to 208 roads, with NCC Private Limited stepping in as the replacement contractor.

“The BMC terminated the contract after blacklisting the company and a fine of Rs 64 crore has been recovered from the company. The other four companies – Megha Engineering, NCC Private Limited, Dinesh Chandra Infra Pvt Limited, Eagle Infra Pvt Ltd – were penalized for delaying the contract, with a fine of Rs 111 crore also recovered,” Samant explained during the session.

The issue was raised in the legislative council by BJP MLC Prasad Lad, who called for transparency in the handling of CC road contracts and suggested an inquiry by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

Sena UBT MLC Anil Parab echoed concerns about accountability across all state government departments, emphasizing the need for a thorough investigation into compliance with contract norms.

The controversy surrounding the BMC’s road projects intensified after Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s commitment to transform Mumbai’s roads into pothole-free CC roads by 2024. Initially, tenders worth Rs 5,800 crore were floated in August 2022, which were later scrapped due to insufficient bidder response. Subsequently, a revised tender was issued in November 2022, amounting to Rs 6,070 crore, with contracts awarded to multiple companies, including RSIIL.

Despite the initial imposition of a Rs 10 crore penalty on RSIIL for delaying project commencement, BMC’s decision to terminate the contract in November 2023 due to further issues led to a legal dispute as RSIIL contested the termination through arbitration.

The BMC’s actions highlight ongoing challenges in Mumbai’s infrastructure projects, underscoring the complexities involved in large-scale urban development amidst regulatory scrutiny and public scrutiny.

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