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HindustanTimes Wed,16 Apr 2014

Contractor bids low, BMC accepts

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  Mumbai, August 27, 2013
First Published: 03:01 IST(27/8/2013) | Last Updated: 03:03 IST(27/8/2013)

Unfazed by the severe outcry and criticism over the bad state of roads and potholes from citizens and the Bombay high court, the civic body is back to its infamous practice of accepting abysmally low bids from contractors, thereby compromising on the quality of work done by them.

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A proposal finalised by the civic administration to hand over contracts to undertake repair work of utility trenches to firms that have bid 35 to 45% lower than estimated is set to be tabled before the civic standing committee for approval on Wednesday.

This, despite the fact that constant digging and shoddy repairs of utility trenches was cited by the civic body as one of the reasons behind formation of potholes on roads at the hearing of a suo moto public interest litigation held earlier this month.

According to BMC data, around 400km of roads are dug by utility agencies every year.

What is even more worrying is that the cost estimate prepared by the BMC for repair work of trenches is much lower than the current market rate.

If the proposal is approved, it likely means that you will be forced to endure a rough ride for the next two monsoons too.

"It is just not possible to work with such low rates quoted by contractors. Theirs will obviously be poor quality work," said Pravin Chheda, Congress corporator and civic standing committee member. 

However, civic officials said the bids were scrutinised thoroughly by the tender committee before being shortlisted. "As the rates quoted are more than 12% lower than the estimated cost, we have collected additional security deposit from the contractors," said a roads department official.

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