Mumbai: WeBuild-APCO JV to construct Versova Bandra Sea Link

Previous partner--Reliance Infra sells shares to Astaldi, its JV partner; MSRDC gives consent for change of partner

Sweety AdimulamUpdated: Sunday, January 23, 2022, 08:36 PM IST
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Mumbai: WeBuild-APCO JV to construct Versova Bandra Sea Link | pm

The much delayed Versova Bandra Sea Link (VBSL) project will be carried out by WeBuild, a firm owned by Astaldi and its new Joint Venture Partner APCO.

The previous JV partner Reliance Infra has given its shares to its partner Following which, Reliance Infra is out from the project.

An MSRDC official, who did not wish to be named said, "Consent letter for change of JV partner has been given to Astaldi. All procedures have been completed." When asked the project implementing authority--MSRDC how would recover the incurred losses following delay caused, the official replied, since one of the JV partners- Astaldi is still there though its company WeBuild, the cost will be recovered from them. While the new partner APCO is based in Uttar Pradesh.

The Free Press Journal has been reporting about the VBSL project work from the onset. The MSRDC has imposed a penalty of Rs 3.5 crore per day (starting from September 1, 2021) to Reliance Infra the previous partner of Astaldi responsible for the construction of the sealink. According to the notice issued it stated that necessary support was given to the contractors to ensure that the project work began, including the extension of time that was sought amid the Covid-19 pandemic situation. Despite this, the work was not completed and therefore, as per the contract agreement, the contractors are liable for the payment of damages to the authority - a sum calculated at the rate of 0.05 per cent of the contract price for each day of delay reckoned from the date till the achievement of Milestone 1, with effect from September 1, 2021.

The MSRDC signed an agreement in September 2018, for the construction of the VBSL in Mumbai. The previous consortium had bagged the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the Rs 7,000-crore project on a competitive bid basis. In fact, at a press conference, Reliance Infrastructure had guaranteed to deliver the project in 60 months from the appointed date of June 24, 2019, as per the contract.

Besides, this newspaper had also reported that in August 2021 only two per cent of civil work in the VBSL project attained in last two years time period.

The MSRDC had signed an agreement with Reliance Infra and Astaldi in September 2018, for the construction of the VBSL in Mumbai. They had bagged the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for Rs 7,000-crore on a competitive bid basis. The consortium guaranteed to deliver the project in 60 months from the appointed date of June 24, 2019, as per the contract. However, failed to do so.

The VBSL bridge once operational would cater to 60,000 vehicles daily, reducing the travel time between Versova and Worli to 15 minutes.

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