TechnoparkToday.com (Feb, 2014) : Putting a big question mark on the future of Technopark phase III development, the state government has decided to put the Rs 1,200-crore project submitted and won by Taurus Investment Holdings through Swiss Challenge method in cold storage.Sources attribute the cold shoulder of the government to the project to the reservations of IT minister P K Kunhalikutty about offering the commercial component in the Swiss Challenge Bid submitted by Taurus.
Indian Supreme Court has no issues with Swiss Challenge model of bidding (in case only one bidder approaches the government for a public project). Yet our Honorable IT minister believes Supreme Court of India is wrong. He says Swiss Challenge “is beneficial to only one party”. Apparently such beneficiaries can be only Smartcity/TECOM (or some other firms) and not Taurus, who till now has been very transparent and public in their dealings with the IT Department and even won the Swiss Challenge.
Taurus’ MD (Indian projects) Ajay Prasad said over the phone from Boston that his company had sunk in close to half a million dollars on the project and had also signed a Letter of Understanding with Hilton Worldwide to bring its Hampton brand to Technopark phase III, but cannot ask the company’s international partners to park money on this project indefinitely.
The original proposal for the Technopark phase III was made in January 2013 by Taurus Investment Holdings, a Boston-based global real estate investment and development firm.It was decided to seek EoI from other players under Swiss challenge bid
Inkel and Lulu Group showed interest in competing by presenting better proposals to challenge the Rs 1,200-crore bid by Taurus and sought an extension on the first bid-due date, September 24.Despite granting a one-month extension till October 24, 2013, they did not submit a proposal and Taurus was declared winner according to the Swiss challenge rules
It has been four months since Taurus was shortlisted, but IT minister is yet to approve the signing of MoU with them!