How does it feel to finish first in a race where you’re the only one running? Yes, Mumbai Entry Point Limited (MEPL) is familiar with that feeling.
Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation has awarded toll collection rights for the Bandra-Worli Sea Link to MEPL, the only bidder after it failed to attract companies thrice.
Other bidders were invited but nobody turned up so MEPL swept the tender away.
They have been collecting toll and maintaining the sea link since 2009. The company will collect toll for another three years.
As their contract expired in March 2017, MSRDC invited contractors to submit tenders. At the first attempt, they got no response. On the second attempt, only one company submitted the tender. Another round was organised and the only company got the contract.
According to the bidding conditions, the contract would be awarded to the company which makes a payment of Rs 360 crore to MSRDC. MEPL paid somewhere around Rs 325 crore to secure the contract. As there was no competition, the bid was accepted at a lower price.
MSRDC needs the toll money to make future developments, so Mumbaikars hoping for a toll-free sea link drive will have to wait a while.