As the last date for submission of bids - February 6 draws closer, suspense over the number of developers bidding for the development of the prestigious 24-acre sprawl at Bandra Reclamation is building up. Maharashtra State Road Development Corporations (MSRDC) officials are tight lipped about the process and maintain that they have no clue as to how many big builders are participating.
Says Kailas Jadhav, Joint Managing Director, MSRDC, “ the bids have been made online on the website “Maha Tender” over which we have no control. We will know the exact status on Tuesday when a government officer will open the bids”.
Bidding Suspense Grows
Another official told FPJ that only after the bids are opened “will we know the response. And if it is poor, we will have to go back to our consultant JLL to see whether we need to modify the criteria”, he said. But for the moment MSRDC is keeping its fingers crossed and hoping that the bidding process will attract some big, technically and financially strong bidders.
It may be recalled that several developers and their representatives who had attended the pre-bid meet hosted a fortnight ago by JLL, a global property consultant for MSRDC to discuss the bid process had on condition of anonymity questioned the eligibility norms in the tendering process.
Raising serious concerns about the bidding process, some top builders had had alleged that MSRDC was favouring ‘one or two big developers’ and that the bids were ‘tailor-made for a select few”.
"The biggest of us will find it difficult to meet these norms"
“The biggest of us will find it difficult to meet these norms. Imposing a financial criterion to have Rs 15,000 crore net worth in one single entity is restricting the opportunity to one or two builders”, a top builder had said.
Another builder, on condition of anonymity added that the norms are stringent because the developer is expected to pay Rs 8000 crore to MSRDC over a period of 9 to 14 years” .
Following queries raised by builders, MSRDC had held a high level internal meeting on January 25, to discuss the issue. After a brainstorming session, MSRDC had taken a call not to relax or change the tender bid norms and eligibility criteria.
“We have examined every query and have come to the conclusion that our process is strong and on track. There is no need for any changes”, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, MSRDC Anil Kumar Gaikwad had told FPJ.
"The single entity criterion was mandatory"
As of now the financial criterion of Rs 15,000 crore net worth in one single entity will remain, a top MSRDC officer told FPJ. Gaikwad maintained that the single entity criterion was mandatory. “We will not allow joint venture (jv) options because our experience with JVs in the past has been bad. One party is always weak and we are looking for financially and technically strong developers who will be able to undertake a project of this magnitude and scale and be able to complete it on time.”, he said.
According to Gaikwad, since this is a revenue sharing model, the developer will have to pay Rs 8000 crore and will also have to develop 50,000 sq ft area of office space and hand it over to MSRDC. Plus the GST will have to be borne by him, he said.
Regarding concerns raised by activists about MSRDC monetising vast open public spaces, Gaikwad maintained, “we are strictly going by the DC rules. Our consultant JLL has informed us that it is possible and well within the framework of the regulations for us to monetise this 24-acre plot and that we can come up with residential and commercial units here. We are following the norms”, he added.
A top officer, however, clarified that there were reservations for a cemetery and a promenade - a public walk which will remain. “We will be making provisions for these”, he said.
According to sources, the top developers who attended the meet include Godrej Properties, Adani Realty, Sunteck Realty, K.Raheja Corp, L&T Realty, Wadhwa Group, Runwal, Oberoi Realty, Lodha, Sattva among others. It is learnt that builders have requested MSRDC Board to relax the norms so as to enable more developers to bid for the project.