Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL) is struggling with contract package-7 of the metro rail project due to having only one firm out of four short-listed ones for holding financial negotiations, sources said.
For being unable to contract out the important component of the project, they said, the commercial launching of the capital's first mass transport service is likely to miss the target.
The component is to develop electrical and management system of the 20.1-kilometre elevated track and stations, which are necessary to start the commercial operation of the trains.
The CP -7 was opened in March 2015 at the early stage of starting biding for all eight packages of the mass rapid transit line-6 (MRT-6) project.
Sources said the DMTCL, a state-owned company to implement the MRT projects in the city, had to revise twice the contract signing deadline, but missed both. Now, it set a new target to sign the contract by this month (March).
Sources, however, feared that the new target would also be missed as it would not be possible to start financial negotiation with the lone firm.
The last deadline of awarding the package was December 2017. If the contract could be signed by then, it would have been possible to meet target to launch the MRT-6 by 2022, sources said.
DMTCL sources said that only four joint venture Japanese firms showed interest in the work out of 31 which purchased the documents.
All the four companies were short-listed and invited to submit their proposals. But three did not turn up finally.
DMTCL sources said that as the CP-7 has multi-level tasks, this extra time was needed for various clarification and confirmation. But sources alleged that the lone firm is taking advantage sensing the project's helpless condition.
"The company understands the reality that the DMTCL has no option as calling fresh tender would be more time consuming," said a source involved with the project.
However, DMTCL officials said the tender evaluation committee has completed the technical evaluation in October 2017 and opened the financial offer.
They said the financial evaluation is also done and the report will soon be sent to the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the project's financier, for its concurrence, they added.
But it is learnt that the financial offer is much higher than the proposed amount for the package. Negotiation on the financial offer will start after JICA's concurrence.
The first set of train out of 24 is scheduled to arrive in December 2020.
The DMTCL is implementing the Tk 219.85 billion MRT-6 project for introducing train based mass transit service from Uttara to Motijheel by 2024.