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Ambani brothers set for a battle again

By Makarand Gadgil in Mumbai
December 12, 2007 11:00 IST
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The Ambani brothers are set for a battle royal again. The Maharashtra government's decision on the successful bidder to build its showcase project of around Rs 4,500 crore (Rs 45 billion), Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link (MTHL) or sea link between Sewri in island city of Mumbai and Nhava Sheva, is going to be watched keenly by the corporate world as Anil Ambani's Reliance Energy (REL)-led consortium is all set to submit its bid by December 15 after a long drawn legal battle.

And more interestingly, it is going to pitch once again the two Ambani brothers against each other for their share of $40 billion Mumbai makeover plans of the state government.

After the REL-led consortium was disqualified at pre-bidding stage, it challenged the state government's infrastructure arm – Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation's (MSRDC) – decision to disqualify REL in courts and got favourable verdict from the Supreme Court in September. The Supreme Court had granted 90 days (ending December 15) to REL for submitting its bid.

Earlier, Mukesh Ambani-controlled Sea King Infrastructure Co-led consortium was all set to get the contract as the two other pre-qualified bidders – LT-Gammon and Iffco – opted out of the race and didn't submitted the financial bids. However, the court battle between REL and MSRDC prevented Sea King from getting the contract formally.

Besides MTHL, both Ambani brothers have put bids for the second line of metro railway for the Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd route, which is the longest metro corridor in Mumbai (32 km) and investment in the project has been pegged at Rs 6,192 crore (Rs 61.92 billion).

Again, Mukesh Ambani-controlled RIL secured the rights to develop a convention centre and parking lot at the Bandra-Kurla Complex in 2006 and Anil Ambani-controlled REL bagged contract to construct the first metro corridor for the Ghatkopar-Bandra-Charkop route.

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Makarand Gadgil in Mumbai
Source: source

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