Chennai Metro stumped after Russian JV partner takes flight

Chennai | Updated on January 23, 2018 Published on May 19, 2015

A file photo of Chennai Metro Rail construction work in progress at Alandur Station in Chennai

CMRL clueless on why Mosmetrostroy abandoned project prior to its completion

All the 60 officials of the Russian company Mosmetrostroy involved in the Chennai Metro Rail Ltd (CMRL) along with its Indian joint venture partner Gammon have left the project abruptly. It is now the responsibility of Gammon India to complete the project, if they don’t return, according to sources in CMRL.

Sources said that Mosmetrostroy wanted CMRL to pay an additional amount for the escalation in the project costs. This was, however, declined by CMRL.

However, CMRL sources said, “We are completely in the dark and have no idea why they left.”

Work on the tunnelling has come to a standstill, according CMRL sources.

The Gammon-Mosmetrostroy joint venture was awarded two contracts of design and construction of underground stations and associated tunnels for CMRL amounting to ₹1,947 crore covering a total length of 18 km and 19 underground stations.

Gammon officials could not be reached for a comment.

The exit of Mosmetrostroy officials has left over 70 of its sub-contractors in the dark as the company owed them nearly ₹29 crore. The sub-contractors who supply sand, cement and brick, bolts and steel bars first approached the Commissioner of Police and then CMRL to recover their dues.

As suggested by CMRL, Mosmetrostroy’s sub-contractors last week approached the Russian Embassy for help to recover dues from the Russian company. Embassy officials sought a week’s time, said R Madhiazagan, Vice President, Chennai Vendor Association, who represents the sub-contractors.

However, at today’s meeting, the Embassy officials said they have approached their officials in Russia and government level talks are likely to happen to bring back officials of Mosmetrostroy to resume their work, he told BusinessLine. “CMRL wanted us to take efforts to bring back officials of Mosmetrostroy,” he added.

In an earlier instance, Chennai Consolidated Consortium Ltd left the project following a disagreement with CMRL over payment. CCCL was involved in construction of stations, including Koyambedu, CMBT, Arumbakkam, Vadapalani, Ashok Nagar, Ekkatuthangal and Alandur. In a re-tender, another private company completed the project.

However, in the case of Gammon and Mosmetrostroy joint venture, there is no question of re-tender as the Indian partner is still there, sources in CMRL said.

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Published on May 19, 2015
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