The civic body's plan to award contracts worth Rs56 crore to fill up potholes this monsoon ran into trouble on Monday, the day scheduled for opening of tenders.
In an unexpected turn of events, Carboncor, one of the four technologies short-listed for the work, refused to take part in the bidding process.
The distributor backed out without submitting a single bid, citing stringent conditions.
This year, the civic body has made it mandatory for technology-providers to give a five-year guarantee for pothole-filling work done before the monsoon, and a two-year guarantee for all the potholes filled during the monsoon.
"Carboncor hasn't been able to submit any bids for this tendered work. Hence, we couldn't consider it," said additional municipal commissioner Aseem Gupta.
Confirming the development, Carboncor distributor Deepak Shah said: “The BMC wants me to give very long guarantee periods, which isn't fair. After using this technology, I have little control over what happens on the road. Many times, utilities keep digging the same road which reduces the shelf life of a road. How can I be blamed then, if the road deteriorates?”
Shah added that he had suggested that the guarantee period be reduced to one year, but the civic body did not agree.
A senior civic official, who did not wish to be named as he is not authorised to speak to the media, said there was no question of reducing the guarantee period.
Of the four technologies tried on Mumbai's roads, Carboncor is the oldest and was the most effective.
Civic officials, as well as the Standing Technical Advisory Ccommittee (STAC), had approved of this technology, based on the trials that had been conducted on patches of the city's roads.
Civic officials privately admit that many had been pushing for this technology.