Civic tree authority sore over move to re-tender census contract

Corporators and nominated members of BMC’s Tree Authority (TA) have unanimously objected to the administration’s unilateral decision to re-tender the tree census contract for the fourth time in a year.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Published: August 20, 2013 12:35 am

Corporators and nominated members of BMC’s Tree Authority (TA) have unanimously objected to the administration’s unilateral decision to re-tender the tree census contract for the fourth time in a year.

The Rs 6-crore tender for carrying out the census using GPS technology was first floated in November last year. However,after failing to get more than one eligible bid,the contract was re-tendered two times. On all three occasions,a company that has been previously blacklisted by Pune Municipal Corporation,emerged the only lowest bidder fulfilling all criteria.

BJP corporator & TA member Amit Satam said,“Already,a year has passed since the tree census tender was first announced. Instead of losing more time in the tender procedure,the corporation can hand it over to the second lowest bidder.”

Alleging a nexus between the civic body and the lowest bidder,nominated member Niranjan Shetty said,“If the corporation is facing problems in awarding the tender,the matter should have been brought up before the committee for discussion instead of unilaterally re-tendering without consulting us. The second-lowest bidder is the company that has successfully carried out our previous tree census in 2008. They are now even equipped with GPS technology and were even recently awarded a prize by the Kerala state government for their work there.”

However joint municipal commissioner S S Shinde said the civic administration will re-tender again because the corporation does not want to award the contract to the only company that qualified.

“Despite tendering thrice,only one company qualified for the contract. The price quoted by the second-lowest bidder is too high. The tree census is conducted every five years. Since the last census was conducted in 2008,we still have some time and can try once again to get another bidder,” Shinde said.

He added the chairman of the Tree Authority,municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte,has said a note would be circulated to all members in this regard explaining the corporation’s decision.

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