Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’ ambitious plan of having an international financial services centre (IFSC) has hit another roadblock.
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’ ambitious plan of having an international financial services centre (IFSC) has hit another roadblock. Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), the implementing agency of the project, has not received a single bid for the preparation of a detailed layout master plan and urban design guidelines for the proposed IFSC.
While around 30 firms attended the pre-bid meeting on March 11, 2016, none have bidded for preparing the layout master plan and designs, citing that a few conditions laid by the MMRDA were not feasible or practical. The MMRDA had on February 17, 2016 floated bids for appointing consultants in order to prepare a master layout plan of IFSC on the 20-hectare land reserved at BKC.
A company representative, who attended the pre-bid meeting said, “There are certain conditions that are not practical. For example, MMRDA wants companies that have previous experience to prepare the layout for the international financial centre. This automatically makes first-timers and many domestic players ineligible in the bidding for preparing the layout.” However, a senior MMRDA official said, “One cannot say it is a poor response. Many firms have shown interest.
We have extended the bidding dates for the fourth time, as there was some technical problem in submitting the drawings of the layout and the designs. We expect a handful of firms to bid for the project by the end of the next extension date.” The construction of the IFSC is already facing another challenge with the Railways being firm on demanding land reserved for the IFSC to construct an underground terminal for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train. However, Mr Fadnavis will take the final decision for the same. The MMRDA has now extended the bidding date up to July 8, and the bids will be opened on July 11. In May 2015, the chief minister had revived the proposal for the IFSC, which has only been on paper for close to six years now. A proposal for the construction of the same was approved by the MMRDA in August 2015 to develop a global financial centre in order to attract international companies to set up their hub in the commercial area of BKC.