To avoid delay or scam, Mumbai civic body opens desilting tenders early
The civic body has floated 32 tenders, 18 in the western suburbs and eight and four each in the eastern suburbs and island city respectively.mumbai Updated: Nov 04, 2016 00:11 IST
After last year’s Rs38-crore desilting scam, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has floated tenders for desilting of major nullahs across the city to prepare for next monsoon. After last year’s backlash from contractors following action in the desilting scam and forced re-tendering, the civic body has opened tenders one month earlier.
The civic body has floated 32 tenders, 18 in the western suburbs and eight and four each in the eastern suburbs and island city respectively. It is aiming at finalising the contract by the end of the year. Due to repeated re-tendering and poor response, the contractors were only finalised by March which led to delays in pre-monsoon work.
Last year, civic body had opened tenders thrice, starting from December, before it could give contracts for desilting and that too at 10% above the estimated cost. Following unearthing of the scam, which established corruption in awarding contracts and a nexus between civic officials and contractors, civic chief Ajoy Mehta had ordered that the 32 contractors, whose shoddy pre-monsoon nullah desilting work led to flooding in the city on June 19, be blacklisted. The process is underway.
The civic body had floated tenders of 52 desilting works, out of which BMC was able to finalize only seven desilting contracts initially after the contractors only agreed to work for 10% more than the estimated cost of Rs 140 crore.
In addition, some contracts received just one bid, which quoted 300% higher rates.
To avoid any delay in monsoon preparation and a repeat of last year’s mess, the BMC has floated tenders for major nullahs.
Civic officials said that usually, contracts are awarded for pre-monsoon desilting work from April to June. The process of appointing contractors was delayed till early March.
As part of the process, BMC which was hearing the case of 32 contractors who were named in scam has sent notices to the contractors for 24 works undertaken by them in 2015.
“All the notices for blacklisting contractors will be completed within a week,” said a civic official. These 32 contracts cannot bid for the desilting projects in the BMC, following the blacklisting.