Mumbai: Tata Projects Ltd has emerged as the lowest preferred bidder for the second phase of the Bharat Net project in Chhattisgarh, under which nearly 6,000 villages will be connected through a optical fibre network.
Tata Projects bid Rs2,600 crore for the project, according to three people aware of the development. The letter of acceptance has not been awarded yet.
A Tata Projects spokesperson declined to comment.
One of the two people said Tata Projects beat two other bidders — government-owned Telecommunications Consultants India Ltd (TCIL) and Delhi-based optical fibre maker Vindhya Telelinks Ltd.
In December, the Chhattisgarh government signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the centre to develop the second phase of the Bharat Net project, which would lay 32,466 km of optical fibre cable in the state. The estimated cost, at the time of signing the MoU, was Rs1,624 crore.
Bharat Net is one of the central government’s flagship projects for Digital India. Bankrolled by the department of telecommunications’ (DoT) Universal Service Obligation Fund and implemented by Bharat Broadband Nigam Ltd, the project intends to provide broadband connectivity—at the speed of 2 mbps to 20 mbps—to Indian villages so that local governments can provide essential services faster digitally.
Phase 1 of the Bharat Net project was completed with 110,000 villages now able to access the internet, DoT had announced in January.
It cost the exchequer Rs11,200 crore. Phase 2 of the project, with an outlay of Rs34,000 crore, is scheduled to begin this year.
Tata Projects is the Hyderabad-based infrastructure firm of the Tata Group.
Its primary business is in engineering, procurement and construction in power generation, metals and minerals, energy and urban infrastructure