Railways cancels bidding for revamp of New Delhi, Ahmedabad stations

The railways’ ambitious New Delhi station redevelopment project has been derailed once again with the bidding process getting cancelled. This is the third time when the bidding for this project has been cancelled. The railways has also decided to discharge the bidding process for the Ahmedabad station redevelopment project.

The development comes weeks after construction majors Larsen and Toubro (L&T) and Afcons Infrastructure emerged as the lowest bidders for New Delhi and Ahmedabad stations respectively. In both cases the lowest bidders had quoted prices which were exceptionally higher than the government’s estimate. While L&T had quoted Rs 8,740 crore for the New Delhi station project against government’s estimate of Rs 5,000 crore, Afcon had quoted Rs 5,355 crore for the Ahmedabad station project, nearly 75% higher than the government estimate.

Sources said the railways was left with no other option than cancelling the bidding process as the prices quoted by the lowest bidders were much above the amount approved by the Cabinet. The Union Cabinet had approved Rs 10,000 crore for redevelopment of New Delhi, CST (Mumbai) and Ahmedabad stations. The tenders for the three projects were floated by the Rail Land Development Authority.

While Rs 5,000 crore was meant for the New Delhi station, around Rs 2,000 crore was earmarked for the Mumbai station and Rs 3,000 crore for the Ahmedabad station.

In the case of the New Delhi station redevelopment project, the railway ministry was hopeful of awarding the contract in April. In the two earlier attempts in 2001-02 and 2008-09, the railways had failed in the redevelopment of New Delhi station. Another attempt to take up the project on public-private partnership mode had also failed in 2021.

Sources said the two projects would now again go back to the drawing board and a fresh tender would be issued after reworking on the projects. “It will take a few months now,” said a source.

●Times of India


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