Following controversy over contractors quoting upto 40 percent less that estimated cost of ₹1,200 crore for road repairs and maintenance contracts, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Wednesday decided to scrap the tenders and reinvite bids.
Further, the civic body has now decided to refloat bids worth ₹2,200 crore by adding a few more roads. The BMC says this time the conditions will be stringent to ensure quality of the road can be met.
On September 13, additional municipal commissioner P Velrasu in his letter had sought justification from the deputy municipal commissioner of infrastructure on how the quality will be maintained amid the contractors quoting less than 30% of the estimated cost. With contractors offering to build roads at such a low cost, concerns were being raised over the quality.
In his letter, Velrasu had stated, “I have received 30 tender files on the road works in city, eastern and western suburbs. It is surprising to see most of the tenders are quoted very much on the lower side. The department needs to explain how it intends to maintain the quality under control. When road supervision of 100% is not possible during the execution at senior level, how will the quality of execution be ensured by the road department?”
Following this, the road department was asked to submit a reply to the additional municipal commissioner, who later in consultation with municipal commissioner Iqbal Chahal took the decision to float the bids again. Velrasu confirmed that the bids will be refloated.
One of the conditions of the revised tender document, would be holding back up to 20% payments, which would be given only in between the 6th-10th year after the road is repaired.
A BMC official said, “In such a case, we propose to pay 4% each year which would be divided between four years. The 4% payment every year after the sixth year will also be done after testing the roughness of the road.”
According to BMC officials, they will also have quality monitoring auditors for each zone, which is an upgrade from the current three such auditors for the whole city.
Ravi Raja, leader of Opposition in BMC and Congress corporator, said, “One month has passed that the BMC has not taken a decision on it.”
Prabhakar Shinde, BJP’s group leader in BMC, said, “We were demanding retendering and it is good if they have taken such a decision. However, the proposal has yet not come on our table.”