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Bombay Gymkhana land back on road widening plan

A civic official requesting anonymity pointed out that while six contractors had purchased the tender packets, only one participated in the bidding process.

Written by Arita Sarkar | Mumbai | Published: July 28, 2016 1:02 am

THE CIVIC body has decided to include a portion of Bombay Gymkhana’s land for widening the Hazarimal Somani Marg with the standing committee refusing to consider it if it only comprises half the stretch of the road, till Azad Maidan.

The BMC will write to the collector this week and ask to hand over the land within the Bombay Gymkhana premises.

During the standing committee meeting held last week, while corporators like Rais Shaikh of Samajwadi Party cried foul over the exclusion of the Bombay Gymkhana from the project despite being on a large portion of the road, others like MNS corporator Sandeep Deshpande had opposed the awarding of a contract to a single bidder. The proposal is scheduled for discussion in the committee meeting Thursday.

A civic official requesting anonymity pointed out that while six contractors had purchased the tender packets, only one participated in the bidding process. “As per the norm, a single bidder can be given the contract only if the municipal commissioner permits in cases where approval is needed on an urgent basis. Since there was only one bidder, officials from the roads department applied for approval and finalised the single bidder,” said the official.

Shaikh said the municipal commissioner was using his discretionary powers of awarding contracts to single bidders in an inconsistent manner. “If this project is urgent then so are many others which are not given the same treatment. The work on the road widening will not begin until October. So where is the urgency? The BMC administration should have gone for re-tendering,” he said.

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However, after receiving opposition from many corporators last week, the BMC has now decided to float fresh tenders for the second stretch of the road which will include around 3,000 square metres of Bombay Gymkhana’s land.

In the revised plan, the BMC will dedicate all of the extra area for the walkway used by nearly 15 lakh pedestrians and not towards widening of the road. Assistant Municipal Commissioner of A ward Kiran Dighavkar said, “We are writing to the collector to ask for the portion of the land which will be affected in the road-widening project and the letter will be sent this week.”

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