Mumbai, Jul 31, 2009

Mantralaya redo: 2 left in fray

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From an original list of 17 real estate majors that had shown an interest in making over the Mantralaya, only two have submitted bids, and a third after the deadline.

The 17 companies had bought blank tenders for the prize government project, worth over Rs 1,000 crore. When June 28 arrived, only DB Realty and Indiabulls Real Estate bid within the deadline. A third company, Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Limited (IL&FS), submitted a bid two minutes late and the PWD is trying to decide whether to include its offer in the competition.

The original list of 17 had included Tata Housing Development Company, Larson and Toubro, Essar Realty Private Limited, BE Billimoria and Company, Unity Infraprojects, Supreme Infrastructure, Kakade Infrastructure, Pratibha Industries, Man Infraconstruction Limited, BG Shirke construction, Kumar Company, Kingstone Properties, Wadhwa Associates and Naman Developers.

"We had drawn up the tender conditions during the real estate boom. Many of those who bought the tenders may not have found the project feasible," Maharashtra PWD minister Chhagan Bhujbal said.

One developer complained of loopholes in the tender conditions.

"When we tried to get these clarified, we were told we could fill up the tenders if we liked and these conditions would be 'considered' or 'waived' later," a company executive said.

The bidder that eventually bags the project will have to invest at least Rs 1095 crore for renovation and modernisation of the Mantralaya and the New Administrative Building, besides building an underground tunnel to link the two buildings to Vidhan Bhavan. The company will also have to build a rest house for dignitaries, an MLA hostel, offices for political parties and six 60-storey towers for ministers, judges and bureaucrats.

In return, the company will reap a windfall through a prime four-acre plot at Nariman that it will get on a 99-year lease. A ready reckoner pegs the price of the plot at Rs 240 crore while a valuation based on current market prices, with the existing floor space index of 1.33, pits it at a cool Rs 500 crore, which could go further up depending on the FSI that will be granted eventually.