BMC responds to charges of ‘match-fixing’ in tendering process
The BMC on Wednesday issued a clarification vis-a-vis allegations made by councillor Ravi Raja that there was a ‘match-fixing’-like scenario in the tendering process for a reconstruction project of 100-year-old sewerage pipelines in Mumbai
The BMC on Wednesday issued a clarification vis-a-vis allegations made by councillor Ravi Raja that there was a ‘match-fixing’-like scenario in the tendering process for a reconstruction project of 100-year-old sewerage pipelines in Mumbai.
Raja had questioned the project on several counts—why the BMC was insisting on the use of geopolymer lining trenchless technology, why the WRc (Water Research Centre) had been chosen over labs in India, and why a ₹400-crore project was being given to one company when up to three partners were called for. He had also remarked that the BMC was serving a cartel of contractors.
The BMC’s storm water drain (SWD) department clarified that the 495 km of underground stormwater arch drains were in a state of acute distress and disrepair as shown by a CCTV survey. Twenty-seven of the 56 components of the SWDs needed immediate attention as they had collapsed.
The civic body said that a technical advisory committee had been formed in which IIT Mumbai and VJTI were advisors. “The committee suggested geopolymer product lining as the most suitable technology,” the BMC stated, adding that the contractor would have to get his plans approved by the institutes.
With regard to WRc, the BMC clarified that the institute certified geopolymer lining material by international standards. “This technology is used in other countries, mostly in USA, and by using it, the life of the SWDs will be enhanced by another 50 years. It will help increase the velocity of flow and thereby the speed of disposal of storm water during heavy rains,” the BMC emphasised.
The civic body also clarified that in the earlier tender invited for rehabilitation of the SWDs with open/neutral trenchless technology, eventually there was one only one responsive bidder, because of which the tender was cancelled. It also addressed Raja’s concern on the number of partners in a joint venture, saying it was already incorporated in the tender vide Corrigendum IV.
“Initially a few SWDs needing urgent attention will be rehabilitated using geopolymer lining material,” said the note. “If the quality and performance is found satisfactory, then only will the remaining components be rehabilitated with the same technology.”