Tainted contractors apparently have little to worry about even if they have misled the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
A day after the BMC gave a clean chit to RP Shah Infra Projects Ltd, a major contractor, in a case where it had been disqualified for concealing information while bidding for a road project, the company is all set to bag another contract - this one a water works project.
This Rs 71-crore project had been stalled after Hindustan Times had reported on September 17 that the firm had got the contract despite concealing crucial information in its bid, just like it had done in the road project.
Following the report, the civic body had served a show cause notice, asking the firm to explain why action should not be taken against it.
However, after the roads department cleared the firm on September 30 and said it had not concealed information with any malafide intent, the hydraulic engineer's department too has given it a clean chit, it is learnt.
Nitin Shah, owner of RPS Infra, confirmed the development.
Shah said, "After the hearing held by the road department, the hydraulic engineer's department has not just cleared me but also given me the work order for the Rs 71 crore project work." The work order for a contract is generally issued after all approvals have been obtained.
Additional municipal commissioner Rajiv Jalota, however, refused to confirm the development.
"The contractor had already got the work order before the notice was issued. We will be collecting the written order from the roads department and then decide what action should be taken."
However, sources in the hydraulic engineer's department confirmed that the decision had already been taken.
"In the roads contract, information was concealed to ensure that the bidding capacity remains unchanged. However, in case of the water project, revealing the information about his ongoing projects would not have made a difference to the contractor's bidding capacities. Hence, we will be awarding the contract to RPS Infra," they said.
Under this contract, RPS Infra will lay water supply pipelines as well as plug leaks in the western suburbs.
While bidding for the contract, the firm had not revealed the current status of its ongoing project to build retaining walls along the banks of the Mithi river, which has been delayed.
The firm had got the project for Rs 97 crore, but this had been hiked to Rs 140 crore.