The Maharashtra government has directed the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to keep the tender process of the 24/7 water supply scheme transparent and to ensure that the bidders not quote a price higher than the estimated project cost. The PMC is in the process of issuing a re-tender for the 24/7 water supply project. The earlier tender was scrapped after the bidders quoted a price 25 per cent higher than the project cost. According to the new estimate, the project is likely to cost Rs 2,650 crore for laying the 1,700-km-long network of pipeline and water meters across Pune.
The proposal includes the provision of constructing a duct for laying fibre optic cables with the water pipeline network. However, the Pune Smart City Development Corporation Ltd (PSCDCL) has recently stated that it was willing to lay the fibre optic network across the city. This would decrease the project cost of the project by at least Rs 300 crore.
In a communication to the Municipal Commissioner, the state Urban Development Department has urged him to keep the tender process transparent for the water supply project. “The bidding should be very competitive and as per the guidelines of the Central Vigilance Commission. The PMC should ensure that bidders don’t quote a very high amount compared to the estimated project cost,” it said.
On August 3, the PMC administration had scrapped the earlier tender process for the implementation of then estimated Rs 2,818 crore water supply project, citing the impact of the Goods and Service Tax (GST) on the project cost. The bidders had quoted 25 per cent more than the estimated project cost, which had led to the controversy. The PMC is raising funds through municipal bonds for the implementation of the project that includes supply, installation, commissioning and operation of the 24/7 water supply system, mainly to reduce the water loss and ensure equitable water supply to the city.
On June 20, the PMC raised Rs 200 crore through municipal bonds at 7.59 per cent at the Bombay Stock Exchange and became the first municipal body to do so in recent years. It had planned to raise a total of Rs 2,264 crore in five years through municipal bonds. Meanwhile, the PMC administration has made a fixed deposit of Rs 200 crore raised through municipal bonds due to the delay in completing the tender process for the project.