Andhra govt to award Polavaram work to MEIL, may save Rs 780 crore
Infrastructure major Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Limited (MEIL) is all set to replace Navayuga Engineering Company Limited for the execution of balance work of the Polavaram major irrigation project and its associated 900 MW hydro-power project.
MEIL was the only firm which had filed the commercial and technical bid for the Polavaram project in the reverse tendering exercise undertaken by the YSR Congress government headed by YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, setting aside the objections and concerns raised by the Centre.
Megha Engineering is currently executing the Rs 80,000 crore Kaleshwaram lift irrigation project on Godavari River in Telangana. It also completed the Rs 1500 crore Pattiseema lift scheme on the Polavaram right canal during the Chandrababu Naidu regime in 2017.
An official statement from the state irrigation department said the commercial bids were opened at 1.45 pm on Monday and MEIL, which was the only bidder for the project, had quoted Rs 4359.11 crore for both Polavaram project head work and the hydro power project.
“This Rs 628.43 crore, (-12.6 per cent) is lesser than the initial benchmark value of Rs 4,987.55 crore for which tenders were called,” special chief secretary (irrigation) Adityanath Das said.
He further claimed that there was an additional saving of Rs 152 crore in the hydel power project for which work was awarded to Navayuga earlier at an excess of 4.8 per cent of the initial benchmark value of Rs 3,157 crore.
“Thus, by going in for reverse tendering, the state government saved, in all, Rs 780 crore in the Polavaram irrigation and hydro-power projects,” the official said.
He said the award of contract to Megha Engineering would be done after a review of technical and commercial qualification of the bid by October 1.
The opposition Telugu Desam Party described the whole reverse tendering exercise as a big drama. “It is a big conspiracy to defame the previous TDP government by saying that corruption was involved in the Polavaram tenders in the past,” senior TDP leader and former irrigation minister Devineni Umamaheshwar Rao said.
He said as per the orders issued by the Jagan government, reverse tendering should be done only if at least two contractors participated in the bidding process. “In the case of Polavaram, only Megha Engineering filed the bids. How can the government accept the single bid?” Rao asked.
The irrigation officials, however, clarified that eight parties had attended the pre-bid meeting held on September 9. They were: Patel Engineering Limited, Shanghai Electric Machinery Co Limited, Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Limited, Afcons, BHEL, Rithwik Projects Pvt. Limited, Bekem Infra Limited and GE Power India Limited.
“Of them, only Megha Engineering participated in the final bidding process. Though it required two bidders to conduct reverse tender process, Megha Engineering’s bid was accepted as its bid value is less than the initial benchmark value. It may be appropriate to award the contract to Megha Engineering considering the current status of the project works and to expedite the works,” the official said.