Members of the Telugu Desam and CPI(M) staged a walk-out during Question Hour in the Legislative Council on Wednesday protesting against the government’s ‘evasive’ response on the Metro Rail Project.
Even as the Leader of the Opposition Dadi Veerabhadra Rao sought to know why the State government was not keen on taking up the project along with Central government, after the Maytas Infra fiasco, Minister for Municipal Administration Anam Ramnarayan Reddy said fresh bids had been invited for executing the project in Public Private Partnership mode.
The Minister gave a detailed account of the circumstances that led to the cancellation of the contract with Maytas after it had failed to deposit performance security of Rs.240 crore even after getting additional three months time.
He explained that the government did not act in haste to cancel the contract with Maytas as it did not want to further delay the important project by inviting litigation. Finally, after giving a long rope to Maytas, the government cancelled the contract on July 7. Maytas also had to forfeit Rs.71 crore it deposited as guarantee amount as per the agreement.
Pat for model
Mr.Ramnarayan Reddy explained that the PPP model was praised even by the Planning Commission. Of Rs.12,132 crore required for the project, private sector would provide 50 per cent of the fund and the Central government agreed to give viability gap funding of Rs.2,360 crore.
He said four bidders, including Reliance Infra, Lanco, GVK Infra responded to the Request for Proposal kept online. While the last date for receiving bids was September 15, financial bids would be opened on November 21 and in December, developer would be finalised.
However, when the Minister did not respond to, queries asking him to explain the ‘reluctance’ of the government to take the project by itself or as joint venture, the opposition members staged a walk-out. CPI leader Puvvada Nageswara Rao also protested against the Minister’s response but chose to remain in the House.