The Uttar Pradesh government has awarded the controversial Rs30,000 crore Ganga Expressway contract to Jaypee Infratech Pvt. Ltd even as one of the bidders is considering a legal challenge.
According to officials in the UP administration, who did not wish to be named, the firm has won bids for all four sections of the 1,047km project.
The tender was awarded after the cabinet on Thursday approved the proposal. Ravindra Singh, chief executive of Uttar Pradesh Expressways Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA), confirmed the development.
The infrastructure firm sought land worth Rs293.55 crore for property development along the expressway, beating Reliance Energy, which had sought land parcels worth Rs593.60 crore.
According to a revised request for qualifications document issued by the UP government, the bids were decided either on the amount of land requested by companies for land development or the concession period. In case of land development being the bid variable, the maximum period of the concession period would be “35 years inclusive of construction period”.
The contract was divided into four packages, and bidders were allowed to bid either for one, a combination of contracts or for the entire 1,047km stretch. Jaypee was the lowest bidder for three of the individual packages, but Zoom Developers Pvt Ltd turned out to be the lowest bidder for one stretch. Only two firms, Jaypee and Reliance, bid for the entire stretch. According to the state government official, the value arrived at by adding the lowest bid for each stretch was Rs365.24 crore (more than the Rs293.55 crore bid by Jaypee), which was why the tender was awarded to the company.
Mint had earlier reported that two bidders, including Zoom Developers, had said the bidding process was flawed. When contacted, Satish Rustagi, executive director with Zoom Developers, said the company would take legal opinion and then decide the line of action.
The firm’s allegation was that since it had turned in the lowest bid for a particular stretch, UPEIDA should have considered it for that stretch. A Jaypee Infratech spokesperson declined comment. UPEIDA’s Singh said: “There were some complaints (from bidders). But none of them have turned into legal challenges so far.”
Utpal Bhaskar and Rahul Chandran contributed to this story.