The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Plot bypass invites size cut, new bids

Jolted by the zero-response to its earlier invitation for bids to acquire a four-acre ‘idle plot’ on the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass, the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC) has decided to go in for a re-tender of a “scaled-down area”.

Fresh bids, to be invited next week, will give interested parties the option to buy only 2.5 acres, on a lease-cum-sale basis, instead of the entire four-acre plot belonging to Bengal Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Ltd (BCPL).

Twenty parties had purchased the bid document the first time round, but not a single “qualified bid” had been submitted. “Developers who had picked up the papers expressed reservations about the viability of a purely commercial project on such a big plot,” said D. Sengupta, managing director, ICICI Winfra, engaged by WBIDC to handle the bidding process.

A price preference of up to 10 per cent had been offered to bidders for agro-processing or IT-based units. Sengupta felt the plot should now present an attractive proposition for developers to set up a commercial complex. “I expect a better response this time,” he added.

The city developers’ fraternity is not convinced. “Without a residential option, it still doesn’t appear to be a viable project,” said Sushil Mohta, managing director, Merlin Group, who is yet to decide whether to bid for the smaller plot or not.

“I am sure I won’t bid. The risk factors are too many and the cash outflow is too high,” added Nandu Belani of the Belani Group.

It is, however, learnt that the RPG Group is keen to make a bid this time, to finally bring its giant hypermart model to Calcutta.

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