BMC adds new clauses in tender process to keep local contractors away

Published on Aug 04, 2022 09:05 PM IST
According to the eligibility clauses mentioned in the latest tender document, the BMC stated that contractors must have experience in civil engineering road works in the state and national highways
Further, he added that when they allow contractors to take up joint-ventures, most of the local contractors become eligible, which eventually affects the quality of work (HT Photo)
Further, he added that when they allow contractors to take up joint-ventures, most of the local contractors become eligible, which eventually affects the quality of work (HT Photo)

Mumbai With the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) floating a 5,800 crore tender for road repair works, the highest in history of the civic body, the administration has implemented multiple new clauses to keep local contractors at bay.

According to the eligibility clauses mentioned in the latest tender document, the BMC stated that contractors must have experience in civil engineering road works in the state and national highways. It also mentions that joint ventures or consortium models of work will not be allowed in the tenders and single bidders will need to carry out works as well as pay for manpower and logistics. It is also pertinent to note that these clauses will keep away local contractors from the bidding process.

P Velrasu, additional municipal commissioner (Projects), said that the primary objective of adding these clauses is to encourage big infrastructure firms to take up the work. “Every year, BMC spends crores in road repairs, yet the quality remains unsatisfactory. Therefore, this year, we have raised the bar with the eligibility clauses as we want all big-ticket infrastructure firms, with rich experience in road and civil engineering works to participate. The primary objective of this tender is also to ensure that new companies participate in the bidding,” Velrasu told HT on Thursday.

Further, he added that when they allow contractors to take up joint-ventures, most of the local contractors become eligible, which eventually affects the quality of work. He said that to ensure real-time quality management, CCTVs will be installed in the construction sites and QR codes will be installed in the barricades. Any Mumbaikar can scan these QR codes and will be able to take real-time updates of the road repair works.

Velrasu further added that to ensure ease of management, the overall project has been bifurcated into three tenders- one each from the island city and eastern suburbs and three for the western suburbs.

Vinod Mishra, former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) corporator and group leader of the party in the BMC, said that he is analysing the clauses. “Before implementing these projects, one should ensure accountability mechanisms, so that the actual culprits, be it the contractors or the civic administration, could be held responsible for shoddy works,” said Mishra.

Ravi Raja, former Congress corporator and Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the BMC, said that this tender was floated in a hurried manner. “Last December, the civic body floated a 2,000 crore tender for road works but hardly 10% of the total work has been achieved to date. The latest tender has been floated in a haphazard manner. I sense that there is a dearth of planning because with so many road works being carried out in the next two-three years, most of the roads will stay dug up, leaving citizens in a lurch,” Raja said.

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