The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has scrapped tenders for appointing contractors for the monitoring purpose of real-time toll collections at five entry points of the city and the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (MPE) citing conflict of interest between the company that was short-listed as the lowest bidder and the company that collects tolls on the expressway.
The MSRDC had floated bids in November 2015, inviting private companies to develop real-time data collection software to monitor toll collection at every MSRDC tollbooth in the state. However, after receiving bids from around 10 companies, a company named Kent Intelligent Transportation Systems was short listed as the lowest bidder for developing software with the help of “Wide Area Network” (WAN) connectivity, and all WAN servers were to be connected with the main server at MSRDC’s head office in Mumbai, which will not allow the contractors to under-report the traffic data.
“After evaluating we found out that the company which is short-listed provides services or deals with the Ideal Road Builder (IRB) which is one of our contractors for collecting tolls at the expressway. Hence, there is a conflict of interest here between the company and the contractor and so we decided to scrap the whole tendering procedure,” said Radheshyam Mopalwar, managing director, MSRDC.
The MSRDC now plans to float fresh bids for appointing contractors for the same by the end of month. “We have every right to decline offer by the bidders at any point of time without giving any reason as that is in the power of the authority,” said D. A. Salunke, chief engineer of toll monitoring unit (TMU), MSRDC.
The Mumbai Entry Point private limited operates tollbooths at the entry points of the city, namely Vashi tollbooth, Mulund tollbooth on Eastern Express Highway, Dahisar tollbooth, Airoli tollbooth and Mulund tollbooth on LBS Marg whereas the Mumbai-Pune expressway’s tollbooths are handled by the Ideal Road Builders (IRB).
The government is expected to call the tender for allocation of business process outsourcing (BPO) centres in rural India, sources told Business Standard. Budget 2016 envisions rural BPOs to start operations by 2017, and has allocated Rs. 500 crore towards it.
Reportedly, 190 new rural BPOs with an employment capacity of 1.25 lakh employees each shift will come up across India’s vast suburban landscape. A target of 45,000 seats has been set for 2019.
Budget had said the government would offer subsidy of up to 50 percent of capital expenditure, or Rs 1 lakh per seat, whichever is lower, to promote its India’s BPO Promotion Scheme (IBPS).
Calling the rural BPO initiative a flagship programme of the Digital India scheme, a senior official explained the IBPS creates job via information technology and balances growth of IT-enabled services (ITeS) across each state, particularly the digitally deficient ones.
A National Association of Software Services Companies (Nasscom) report says Ahmedabad, Kochi, Kolkata and Jaipur, along with Bhubaneswar, Kochi, Visakhapatnam, Thiruvananthapuram, Chandigarh and Indore, are fast emerging as new destinations for business process management/outsourcing (BPM).
“These cities have made their way to the BPM (BPO) sector map owing to their excellent infrastructure, including cheaper real estate, cost-competitiveness, availability of talent and conducive business environment,” the Nasscom report said.
The southern Indian state of Kerala has finally joined the bandwagon of Indian states launching massive solar power tenders.
The Kerala State Electricity Board has floated a tender for 200 MW of solar power capacity. Bidders will be able to submit bids for project capacities between 10 MW and 200 MW.
The benchmark tariff has been set at Rs 7.04/kWh (US¢11.0/kWh), which is significantly higher than the lowest-ever tariff of Rs 4.34/kWh (US¢6.5/kWh) realized in an auction few months back.
According to media reports, tariff bids for this tender are expected to be higher than the recent ones due to several reasons. The project developers will be required to identify and acquire land on their own. Bank guarantees and bid bond amounts to be submitted by the bidders are also higher than other recent tenders.
Nevertheless, healthy response to the tender can be expected, as Kerala enjoys substantial solar radiation resources. The state has not seen any major capacity addition since the launch of the National Solar Mission in 2010. By the end of February 2016, only 12 MW of capacity had been commissioned in the state, none of which was achieved in the current financial year of 2015-16. Continue reading
The work on the 22-km long Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) could get delayed further as the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has missed its deadline set by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to float civil works for the project.
In January, Mr Fadnavis had said that MMRDA has all the necessary clearances for the project. Once the notification on it is out, the government would formally complete all the talks with JICA related to the financing of the project and also begin the process of tenders by the end of March. That, however, does not seem possible at the moment as the project is yet to be approved by the Japanese government for JICA to fund the project.
Commenting on the matter, a senior MMRDA official said, “We were expecting to complete all the formalities with the JICA officials and sign the financial closure agreement around March 10. But that could not happen and it caused the delay in floating tenders for the project.”
He further added, “We are expecting to complete all the formalities related to the work within this year so that the work on the project could start before the end of financial year of 2016-17.”
The project pegged at Rs 17,500 crore recently got a boost as the MMRDA allocated Rs 1,000 crore for the project in its financial budget for 2016-17. However, the project is yet to be inked with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which is going to fund 80 per cent of the total amount of the project.