Signal Free Corridors Hits a Road Block

Published on April 2, 2013, 05:55 AM IST
BBMP Signal Free Corridor
BBMP’s attempt to transform city roads into signal-free corridors is likely to remain a mirage. The civic agency invited tenders for the five signal-free corridors with a project cost of Rs 394 crore, but contractors have submitted bids amounting to Rs 732 crore. After negotiations, contractors reduced their price. But the total cost — about Rs 650 crore — is still way above the BBMP estimate. 

    The five signal-free corridors proposed are Dr Rajkumar Road (from Yeshwanthpur Circle to Okalipuram), OuterRingRoad (from Mysore Road to Central Silk Board junction), Hosur Road(from Central Silk Board to Vellara Junction), Old Airport Road (from Vellara junction to Whitefield via Kundalahalli) and Mehkri Circle to Hope Farm (via Old Madras Road, Ulsoor Lake and KR Puram junction). 

    According to documents available, BBMP’s estimate for Outer Ring Road project was Rs 108.73 crore, but the contractor, NCC Limited, quoted Rs 111.94 crore — about 92 per cent above BBMP’s estimate. For Dr Rajkumar Road corridor, BBMP’s estimate was Rs 24.33 crore, but Venkatram Infra quoted Rs 37.38 crore. RNS infrastructure quoted Rs 60 crore above the civic agency’s estimate for Hosur Road project. Venkatram Infra’s bid was 64 per cent higher than BBMP estimate for Old Airport Road corridor. 

    The urban development department, having burnt its fingers over the formationoftheKempeGowdaLayout (where a Rs 2,400 crore bid was sanctioned for a project estimated at Rs 600 crore) refused to sanction the project.
 
    BBMP commissioner Siddaiah held two rounds of negotiation with contractors (on February 15 and March 5 this year) and the price was eventually brought down to Rs 646.53 crore. On March 20, just before the model code of conduct came into force, the state government ordered BBMP to talk with contractors again and reduce the cost to 50 per cent above the original estimate. Failing this, it directed the BBMP to call for fresh tenders. 

    “If contractors don’t reduce their price, we will re-invite tenders after the election process gets over,” said S Somashekhar, chief engineer, major infrastructure department, BBMP.