Congress MLAs from Ludhiana lash out at Sidhu’s tender ‘taboo’

In July, Sidhu had even suspended four superintending engineers in Ludhiana, Amritsar and Jalandhar for awarding single-bid tenders.

punjab Updated: Apr 19, 2018 23:47 IST
Harsimran Singh Batra
Harsimran Singh Batra
Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
Punjab local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu (HT File)

Congress legislators Bharat Bhushan Ashu and Sanjay Talwar from Ludhiana West and East, respectively, on Thursday lashed out at party colleague and local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu over his disapproval to single-bid tenders.

Calling it a a “taboo in Sidhu’s mind”, during a quarterly meeting of the district-level review and monitoring committee of urban development (Smart City, Swachh Bharat missions), held at the Zone D office of the municipal corporation, the MLAs said objections to single-bid tenders is a hurdle in implementing development projects in the city. The meeting was chaired by MP Ravneet Singh Bittu, also of the Congress.

Recently, the state government ordered the MC to conduct re-tendering for 52 development works which were earlier allotted to lone bidders.

Talwar underlined that objections over such tenders are raised as Sidhu feels there will be no competition and that these are awarded just to benefit contractors. “But what can the officials do if only one person comes forward even after tenders are invited three-four times?” he said. “Sometimes, like in the case of the carcass utilisation plant and the slaughterhouse project, it so happens that there are only one or two companies that have the expertise. What can be done in those cases?”

Ashu said, “Many projects even under Smart City are hanging fire due to there being only single-bid tenders. These include public toilets, rejuvenation of the Sarabha Nagar market and a modern slaughterhouse.” He added, “Objections are also raised on other development projects, especially road construction, to be conducted through Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB).”

In July, Sidhu had even suspended four superintending engineers in Ludhiana, Amritsar and Jalandhar for awarding single-bid tenders.

Ashu said they will take up the matter with Sidhu; and, if they fail to get any solution, they will move to the chief minister’s office.

First Published: Apr 19, 2018 23:30 IST