Accusing central consultant RITES of having a routine approach and failing to provide effective quality monitoring in big-ticket infrastructure projects in the city, the Noida authority has decided to set up an independent agency for "better surveillance".
In order to "end the monopoly and seek relief from the ever-increasing fees" of IIT Delhi, the authority has also decided to have tie-ups with IIT Kanpur and IIT Roorkee for verification projections and works done by consultants and contractors. The authority will seek advice from these two IITs in case of any project costing R10 crore or more.
The authority has admitted major projects in the city have got delayed because of ineffective monitoring and "hard-to-come-by" inputs on budgeting and designs. "We have been paying crores of rupees without much benefits. We're forming an independent agency through a competitive bidding process," Noida chairman Balvinder Kumar said.
"There is little check on use of substandard materials," said a senior officer. Project management consultants (PMCs) - supposed to ensure quality, prepare cost-effective budgets and foolproof designs - are themselves doubling up as contractors too in Noida. Lack of transparency and effective monitoring is causing inordinate delays and untold miseries to residents.
"RITES, despite being the PMC, is executing three major projects in Noida - an underpass at Rajnigandha Chowk and a flyover and an underpass at Sector 37," he said.
The authority has now woken up to this "anomaly". "We have decided to get works being done by RITES verified by IITs. Since RITES is doubling up as PMC as well as contractor, taking fresh steps for transparency and monitoring was the need of the hour," the officer said.
The authority first verifies the credentials and financial viability of PMCs. The designs and estimates prepared by them are crosschecked by IITs. Once a PMC is decided upon, tenders are floated for selection of a contractor. The contractor is chosen through competitive bidding in terms of technical and financial expertise and viability. The final budget is once again verified by IITs.
Samples taken recently have shown "big-time qualitative compromises".