WeBuild-APCO JV to build Versova Bandra Sea Link

The much-delayed Versova Bandra Sea Link (VBSL) project will be carried out by WeBuild, a company owned by Astaldi and its new joint venture partner APCO.

The former JV partner Reliance Infra gave its shares to its partner Following which, Reliance Infra left the project.

An MSRDC official, who did not wish to be named, said: “The consent letter for the change of JV partner has been delivered to Astaldi. All procedures have been completed.” When the project implementing authority – MSRDC was asked how would recover the losses incurred from the delay caused, the manager replied, since one of the JV partners – Astaldi is still there through his company WeBuild, the cost will be recovered from them. While the new APCO partner is based in Uttar Pradesh.

The Free Press Journal has reported on the work of the VBSL project from the start. The MSRDC has imposed a penalty of Rs 3.5 crore per day (from 1 September 2021) on Reliance Infra the former partner of Astaldi responsible for building the Sealink. According to the published notice, it stated that the necessary support had been given to the contractors to guarantee the start of the works of the project, including the extension of the deadline requested in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite this, the work was not completed and therefore, according to the contractual agreement, the contractors are obliged to pay damages to the authority – a sum calculated at the rate of 0.05% of the price of the contract for each day of delay taken into account from the date until the completion of Stage 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 won the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the Rs 7,000 crore project based on competitive bidding. Indeed, during a press conference, Reliance Infrastructure had guaranteed to deliver the project in 60 months from the fixed date of June 24, 2019, in accordance with the contract.

In addition, this newspaper had also reported that as of August 2021, only 2% of the civil works of the VBSL project had been completed in the past two years.

The MSRDC had signed an agreement with Reliance Infra and Astaldi in September 2018, for the construction of VBSL in Mumbai. They had won the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for Rs 7,000 crore based on competitive bidding. The consortium has committed to deliver the project in 60 months from the set date of June 24, 2019, in accordance with the contract. However, failed to do so.

The VBSL bridge, once operational, would serve 60,000 vehicles per day, reducing travel time between Versova and Worli to 15 minutes.

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Posted: Sunday, January 23, 2022, 8:36 PM IST

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