After giving away the Rs550-crore road construction contract to the same set of contractors who are responsible for the bad roads in the city, the civic body is now handing out yet another contract worth Rs350 crore.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is changing the qualification for bidders so that the contracts to repair roads that are less than 30-ft wide go to small contractors. The work will be allotted at ward-level.
A civic official said the contracts would be split with each being of Rs15-20 crore.
Also, the condition for financial capability of the contractors has been relaxed. While floating tenders for road works worth Rs550 crore, the BMC had insisted that the annual turnover of the bidder needed to be 90% of the work cost. Now, it is being lowered to 75%.
Also, the bidder should have completed one contract of 40% of the cost of the work they wished to bid for in past five years. This will be lowered to 30%.
HT had earlier reported how experts and retired officials had warned the BMC that allotment of work at the ward-level bred corruption and shoddiness in quality of roads.
However, civic officials claimed that they would not lower the bar substantially. “We are revising the qualification. But even if we change the criteria, we will not go below the guidelines set by the Central Vigilance Commission,” said Aseem Gupta, additional municipal commissioner.
In his meeting on Saturday, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan insisted that the civic body be tough with the contractors.
“The contractors quote 20% less than the minimum bid money, so we will have to check if the tendering process is illegal,” he said.
Chavan asked BMC to make testing laboratories compulsory at every hot mix plant so that samples were preserved and tested for quality in the future.