A major roadworks contractor, RP Shah Infra Projects Ltd (RPS Infra), has been disqualified by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for concealing information while submitting its bid for contracts worth Rs550 crore in total.
This is the first significant step that the civic body has taken against errant contractors after the HT began reporting on the pathetic state of Mumbai’s roads on July 20 and how the construction of roads has suffered due to the nexus between contractors-politicians-administration.
The BMC had floated tenders to execute roadworks in late July and had divided it into nine smaller contracts. RPS Infra was short-listed by the civic body among the nine contractors who would bag one contract worth Rs72crore.
The contractor is currently building retaining walls along the Mithi River, a contract that it had originally bagged for Rs97 crore. The cost of this contract rose to Rs143 crore due to variations.
This increase in cost enhanced the contractor’s bidding capacity and allowed the firm to bid for the BMC’s road contract. According to civic officials, RP Shah Infra did not disclose this fact while submitting the bid.
Additional municipal commissioner Aseem Gupta said, “While scrutinising the bids the second time round, we found that the contractor had concealed details of its pending work. He does not have the bidding capacity to bid for the contract. We have disqualified the contractor and have initiated proceedings against him.” The BMC has served the firm a show-cause notice and imposed a hefty fine on them.
Nitin Shah, from RPS Infra projects confirmed the firm’s disqualification and said, “It was an error on our part. However, despite this, our bidding capacity would not have decreased at all.”