Pilot project too expensive: Civil contractors

The civic administration is in a fix as 28 of the 31 civil work contractors who tendered abnormally low bids for petty civic works have refused to undertake a pilot project of civic works in their wards citing lack of an official contract and high costs.

Written by Sharvari Patwa | Published: September 5, 2012 4:06 am

The civic administration is in a fix as 28 of the 31 civil work contractors who tendered abnormally low bids for petty civic works have refused to undertake a pilot project of civic works in their wards citing lack of an official contract and high costs. The 31 contractors had tendered abnormally low bids to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for procuring petty contracts in the 24 civic administrative wards and four hospitals in the city. Given their low quotes,BMC decided to conduct a ‘viability test’ of such low rates. After they carry out the petty works,the BMC said their work would to be monitored by a third party auditor.

A senior civic official said,“Most contractors have refused to undertake the viability test citing the high cost. Also,as the civic administration is now awarding an official contract,these contractors are not ready for the pilot project. The report stating their reasons for the refusal has been prepared and will be discussed soon.”

Additional Municipal Commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar,however,said,“There is no such news being given to us. We have issued the letters for the work to these contractors. In case they have objections,the head of the department concerned will meet all of them to address their concerns.”

“The pilot project is at low cost and we will not be able to undertake these projects as our operating and basic costs are higher. Also,BMC has yet not given us a letter of acceptance or signed a formal agreement,” said a CWC contractor.

A BMC official said the contractors were asked to undertake select contracts on a pilot basis. They were required to provide supporting documents and authentic bills of all materials procured to prove they have completed the works based on the rates quoted by them,he said. These works and the bills will be scrutinised by BMC’s vigilance department and the third party auditor,after which the final contracts will be awarded,said the official.

After much hue and cry over corruption in the CWC system,contractors had bid abnormally low — between 40 per cent and 60 per cent of the BMC-specified contract price — for the petty civil works in 24 wards and four hospitals. About 116 contractors had bid for the two-year ward level contracts for 2012-14. This was the lowest bidding in more than six years.

Earlier this year,an internal note circulated by chief accountant (finance) Ram Dhas had accused the ward-level CWC contractors of siphoning BMC money by getting work orders sanctioned for works that were not required and doing shoddy work.

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