The civic body’s plan to develop gardens across Mumbai into world-class open spaces has hit a familiar roadblock— the amounts quoted by the contractors are nearly 70% lower than the Rs 102-crore cost estimate.
While the bids mean the contractors are willing to complete the project at much lower rates, it has given rise to the fear that the quality will be poor.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had floated tenders to develop over 200 open spaces, road medians, traffic islands and cemeteries in the city.
As part of the project, the contractors will have to develop green lawns, construct pathways, install play and gymnasium apparatus and maintain it for three years.
The project has been divided into seven contracts, with one contractor for each zone. The bids received for each of these zones range from 31% to 68.3% less than the civic body’s estimate. So the BMC has asked the short-listed contractors to submit documents justifying the low rates.
“We have asked the contractors to submit a rate analysis, which is basically a detailed explanation on how they plan to complete the work at these rates. Once we get the document, we will decide on the contracts,” said a civic official.
SS Shinde, joint municipal commissioner, said the bids had not been finalised.
“We have no control over the contractors’ bids. However, we have asked them not to cut corners. It will be mandatory for the contractors to maintain the parks for three years,” Shinde said.
A contractor said it was nearly impossible to work at these rates. “Anything less than 30% of the estimate is considered unworkable by contractors. Such rates suggest a bad intent,” he said.
The city’s open spaces have been characterised by poor maintenance. Corporators and activists have often complained of neighbourhood parks being in bad shape.
Shinde said the gardens department was drawing up a list of measures it could take to ensure strict supervision and better implementation.