It's not as if Mumbai is necessarily stuck with the nine firms the civic body shortlisted earlier this week for road projects worth Rs 550 crore. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has the power to disqualify any of bidders if it thinks the firm is not capable of doing a good job.
Of the nine contractors shortlisted, the BMC had fined five just last week for shoddy roadwork.
In its ongoing campaign on the state of city roads this monsoon, Hindustan Times has published reports on how the bidders and the selection process can affect road quality. The nine shortlisted firms have quoted 15% to 25% lower than the BMC’s estimated project cost, raising questions about quality.
The nine bidders are RP Shah Infraprojects Ltd, RK Madhani & Co, Relcon Construction, Mahaveer Roads Infra Pvt Ltd, Shantinath Roadways, Prakash Engineering, KR Construction, Valecha & Co and Bitcon Ltd.
“The bids have only been shortlisted. Now, a tendering committee will evaluate them, after which the final decision will be taken by the civic standing committee,” said Aseem Gupta, additional municipal commissioner (roads). “If either of the two committees decide a certain bidder doesn’t fit, the bid can be cancelled.”
The tendering committee, scheduled to meet soon, includes senior civic officials and is headed by the director of engineering services and projects.
A civic official, on condition of anonymity, said: “The fine imposed is not a major reason to deny them the contract. But the committee will peruse their technical and financial qualifications one more time and it will have the power to cancel any bidder.” If that happens, the bid will go to the firm that bid the second lowest for that particular contract.
Rahul Shewale, Shiv Sena corporator and chairman of the standing committee, said the committee would not allow any firm with irregularities to build roads. “We will scrutinise these bidders and their history before awarding contracts,” he said.
The BMC had initially seemed inclined to rope in big infrastructure firms However, as reported in HT’s Friday edition, the way the tender was designed failed to interest the firms, and the BMC’s usual set of contractors was shortlisted.