Two of the bids submitted by Larsen & Toubro (L&T) Limited, a significant Indian infrastructure firm, were turned down by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) for the Thane-Borivali underground twin tube project. The company appealed the ruling in two separate petitions to the Bombay High Court, asking for instructions to quash and set aside the decision to reject its bid for package 1 (5.75 km of the project’s Borivali side) and a declaration from MMRDA that it had won the contract for package 2 (6.09 km of the project’s Thane side). However, the court dismissed both motions last week.
The Thane-Borivali underground twin tunnel project is anticipated to cost $11,000 crore and will include a nearly 11-km long twin tube tunnel that will cut the travel time between Thane and Borivali from approximately one and a half hours to 15-20 minutes, according to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority. In January 2023, the project’s tender went out.
L&T’s attorney contended during the hearing that the rejection of their bids was unfair and arbitrary. In the first petition, L&T argued that the lack of a technical capability document was the reason why the company’s bid for package 1 was rejected. L&T countered that the document’s submission on April 21 demonstrated the firm’s expertise in tunnelling work for the Doha Metro project, which was presumed to be applicable for both packages.
In the second petition, L&T disputed the decision to reject its offer for package 2 on the basis that it had submitted a greater financial offer than the competition. The company’s attorney further asserted that L&T should be recognised as the successful bidder for package 2 because the winning bidder had not initially presented two different work experience certifications.
The MMRDA, however, argued against the petitions and claimed that the corporation had disregarded the tender criteria despite their being explicitly stated. L&T was required to present two distinct work experience certificates, one for each package, according to the MMRDA’s supplementary argument, which supported the rejection of its package 1 bid. The authority added that it was against the rules to grant L&T’s request to correct the inaccuracy after the financial bid had been launched.
The Bombay High Court dismissed both petitions after hearing from both parties, declaring them to be “devoid of merit.” According to the judge, there was no reason for meddling in the MMRDA’s decision-making process.
Mumbai needs the Thane-Borivali underground twin tunnel project completed as soon as possible, thus the MMRDA’s decision to reject L&T’s proposals is likely to cause a delay in the project’s execution. The project’s objectives include reducing regional transportation congestion and enhancing connection between the two cities.
The business, which has a large position in the Indian infrastructure industry, is hurt by the rejection of L&T’s proposals. The Bandra-Worli Sea Link and the Mumbai Monorail were two infrastructural projects that L&T had previously worked on in Mumbai. Its future projects and reputation are expected to suffer as a result of the company’s proposals for the Thane-Borivali subterranean twin tube project being rejected.