Uttar Pradesh government has decided to make
an appeal before the Supreme Court seeking at least 20 days additional time to finish the fresh tender process for installation of high security registration plates in the state.
While the Supreme Court had set the April 30 deadline for all the states to complete the tender process for installing such number plates,the award of contract given to Utsch India Private Limited in Uttar Pradesh was
cancelled on the directions of the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court. The High Court had also ordered CBI inquiry into the entire process since there were allegations of graft.
The decision to make an appeal in the apex court was taken after the first meeting of the high-powered committee on Monday. The appeal would be made by Uttar Pradesh Transport Department. The high-powered panel was constituted by the state government to take up the fresh tender process in accordance with the directions of the high court.
We taking up the
entire process at a fast
pace. But in order to follow all the laid (Supreme Court) guidelines of the tender process,we would need at least one month, said a senior government officer,adding that they would try to complete the process by mid of May.
In order to ensure that a majority of the 18 companies authorised by Government of India are able to participate in the new tender process,the state government is
also planning to completely do away with the controversial clause of inserting
experience as one of the main criterion. The meeting was headed by Anil Gupta,Industrial Development Commissioner and senior officers of Transport,Finance and Law department attended it.
Sources said the state government is thinking on the lines of completely eliminating the experience bar,which was an essential part of the previous tender
process because introduction of high security number plates is comparatively a new process all across the country thus majority felt that experience bar would automatically exclude some of the companies.
Instead,the state government is planning to introduce Performance guarantee to be given by the contractor,which would be forfeited in case the contractor fails to perform on the set criteria. We are developing the new document keeping two things in mind. Firstly,the
document would be such
that a majority of the government certified companies are able to participate,which would automatically ensure more competition and lesser price. Secondly,we are
ensuring that the document is as per the observations of
the High Court and
Vehicles (New High Security Registration Plates) Order,2001 of Union Ministry of Road and Transport said a senior officer.
In the past,companies had alleged that the state government under
Mayawati had introduced one-year experience criteria at the later stage of the tender process just to ensure that few companies qualify the bid because the process was new for the entire
country. Thus,the state government has given instructions that no major amendments are to be made after the fresh tender document is made public.
committee has set the deadline to prepare the tender document within next
three days so that it can be sent to the Legal Remembrancer for final comment. Next meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday. Meanwhile,sources said that even the company
in question i.e. Shimnit Utsch India Private Limited has approached the Supreme Court against the order of the High Court through
Government is yet to decide on this issue and also on whether to take up judicial or administrative inquiry into the tender process.