A consortium led by GMR Infrastructure Ltd has emerged as the lowest bidder for a project of the eastern dedicated freight corridor. The consortium offered to build the 417-km railway line connecting Mughalsarai and New Bhaupur (near Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh) at 5,080 crore. The bidding was through two tender packages and there were five bidders for the project, the company said in a statement. Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Ltd (DFCCIL), a Railways undertaking, will have to approve the bid before the project is awarded, the company said.
DFCCIL will also need some clearances from the World Bank before awarding this project, a DFCCIL official told BusinessLine, requesting anonymity. The 1,839-km Eastern Corridor, to be part-funded by the World Bank, is proposed to connect Ludhiana in Punjab and Sonnagar in Bihar, with a further connection option to Dankuni (West Bengal). A 343 km stretch of the corridor has already been awarded to a consortium of Tata Projects-Aldesa. According to the official, the 55-km Mughalsarai-Sonnagar stretch is expected to be operational by March 2015, while another 60 km line is likely to be flagged off by December 2016. The rail link will carry bulk cargo such as coal, steel and fertiliser. The Eastern and Western rail freight corridor projects are expected to be game changers in the country by creating the much required rail transportation capacity.
GMR Group is not required to provide any equity for the project since it is to be implemented on an EPC (engineering procurement contract) basis. The project is to be completed in 45 months after the award. GMR Infra, which has interests in airports, highways and urban infrastructure, is implementing two railway projects for Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd. Rights issue Simultaneously, the company has also got the go-ahead from capital markets regulator SEBI for raising 1,500 crore through a rights issue, which would basically allow the company to raise equity from its shareholders. On Tuesday, GMR Infras stock gained 0.50 per cent to 20.15.