Muradnagar incident effect: Civic body steps up checks, all low quoted tenders will be scrutinised
Ghaziabad: Following the roof collapse incident at Muradnagar which claimed the lives of 24 persons, the Ghaziabad municipal corporation has decided to keep tabs on technical specifications and quality of construction material where tenders are quoted much below the estimated price.
In the Muradnagar incident, Ajay Tyagi, awarded the contract for the structure which had collapsed, was arrested by the Ghaziabad police apart from four others, including officers of the Muradnagar Nagar Palika. He had also been a major contractor with the Ghaziabad municipal corporation which blacklisted his three firms -- Ajay Tyagi Constructions, Mahi Construction and Builders and Krishna Associates – after the incident.
Tyagi had allegedly told the police that he bribed officials and also resorted to malpractices.
“Although technical and quality checks are taken up time and again, we will now undertake strict and special checks in cases where contractors quote 25% or below the tender cost. This is done as there is always an apprehension that quoting a rate much below the tender price may involve compromise with the quality of construction material. So, these works will be strictly checked and suitable action will be taken up,” said MS Tanwar, municipal commissioner.
The corporation has a list of about 350 registered contractors who take up different civic infrastructure related works under the jurisdiction of the Ghaziabad municipal corporation.
“In other cases, if the price is quoted slightly below the tender price, there are chances that contractors may have resorted to malpractices like forming cartels or managing tenders among themselves. So, these practices will also be checked up and we will encourage that more bidders participate in tenders,” Tanwar added.
As per norms, works of over ₹1 lakh are awarded through e-tendering process, with the work going to the lowest bidder.
“Corporation officials are always entrusted to maintain quality checks in works which are awarded, irrespective of whether the price is quoted only slightly below or much below the tender price. In fact, after the Muradnagar incident, some expert agency should be roped in to check the quality of work, for instance of over ₹50 lakh, while the other smaller works should be checked by a committee of technical experts from different agencies such as the public works department, the UP Jal Nigam, among others,” said Rajendra Tyagi, councillor from Raj Nagar.
“Further, if the corporation wants to ensure transparency, they must publish its works online with details. This will ensure that everything is in the public domain and any citizen can see whether the same work is allotted frequently (as in case of roads) or not,” he added.
The Muradnagar roof collapse incident has virtually exposed the alleged nexus between certain officials and contractors and a special investigation team of the Economic Offences Wing is now probing the case, on directions of the Uttar Pradesh government.