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Friday, April 03, 2020

Waste-to-energy plant at Deonar: After malpractice claims, BMC directed to change contractor

On Tuesday, corporators alleged that the civic administration has chosen Chennai MSW Private Limited for the project despite it failing to submit financial quotations during the bidding process.

| Mumbai | Published: February 19, 2020 3:11:52 am
Deonar Waste-to-energy plant, Brihanmumbai municipal corporation, BMC, mumbai news, maharashtra news, indian express news Additional Municipal Commissioner P Velrasu denied any malpractices, but accepted there was technical glitches in the system because of which the price quoted by the contractor was not showing.

After corporators alleged malpractices in awarding contract for the proposed waste-to-energy plant at Deonar dumping ground, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Standing Committee directed the civic administration to give the contract to the second lowest bidder. Last month, the BMC had finalised a firm for setting up the Deonar plant and proposal for the same has been pending with the Stand-ing Committee for the last 15 days.

On Tuesday, corporators alleged that the civic administration has chosen Chennai MSW Private Limited for the project despite it failing to submit financial quotations during the bidding process.

“At the time of finalising the contract, the civic body had received two bids. Besides Chennai MSW Private Limited, another firm, Suez Projects, had also participated in the bidding. Chennai MSW had not submitted its bid during the process. However, civic officials called the contractor and told them to give financial bid even after deadline had ended. Subsequently, the company’s bid was approved. This raises very serious questions over the whole tender process,” Vishakha Raut, Leader of the House, said, adding that the contract should be given to the second lowest bidder.

Congress corporator and Leader of the Opposition, Ravi Raja, said, “The shortlisted contractor did not quote his cost during the process. There is manipulation in the record to favour a particular contractor.”

However, Additional Municipal Commissioner P Velrasu denied any malpractices, but accepted there was technical glitches in the system because of which the price quoted by the contractor for the project was not showing in the system. “The online system does not show the price quoted by the contractor, but it happened due to a technical glitch. The company had later shown us the screenshots of the process and how the price bid was showing uploading of documents was successful in their system. Then, we took the legal opinion from the law department and they gave positive remark. The company was successfully running a plant in Delhi,” said Velrasu.

Following the allegations, Standing Committee Chairman Yashwant Jadhav approved the proposal with suggestions of members to give contract to the second lowest bidder.

“This whole episode is suspicious. How can administration give contract to a company that has failed to submit important information? It clearly looks like there is some misdeed. The BMC itself had given affidavit before the high court that closure work on Deonar dumping ground will start by February 22. We are approving the proposal but with the suggestions given by committee members,” said Jadhav.

The proposed waste-to-energy plant will have the capacity to process 600 metric tonne daily and produce 4 mega watt electricity. The BMC will spend Rs 1,056 crore on the project, which includes 15 years of operation and maintenance.

According to the document, Chennai MSW Pvt Ltd had bid the lowest at 29 per cent below the BMC estimate, while Suez Projects had quoted Rs 1,291 crore.

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