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Bhama Askhed dam jackwell work raises stink; PCMC denies fixing tender for higher amount

Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation commissioner also denied the allegation that a contractor who had been blacklisted in another state is being allotted the work.

PCMC chief Shekhar Singh (File)
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Bhama Askhed dam jackwell work raises stink; PCMC denies fixing tender for higher amount
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THE Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation has denied the allegations it has finalised a tender for a higher amount for constructing a jackwell in Bhama Askhed dam in the Pune district of Maharashtra. It has been alleged that the tender has been finalised for Rs 151 crore when the original tender amount was Rs 121 crore.

“The tender has not been finalised as yet. It will soon be tabled before the standing committee when it will be put up for approval,” Municipal Commissioner Shekhar Singh, who is also the administrator of PCMC, told The Indian Express Friday.

The commissioner also denied that a contractor who had been blacklisted by the Bengaluru civic body is being allotted the work.

“There are some concerns raised on both counts. We are looking into them,” Singh said.

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Civic officials said that whenever there is a change in the District Schedule of Rate (DSR) regarding the tenders, the acceptance limit is decided as per the new rate. “This is the common practice in civic bodies, PWD, and other government organisations. So as per the current DSR, when we give the work order, it is 6-7 per cent above the original tender amount. We are still analysing the issue. No final decision has been taken yet,” said a civic body officer said, while denying pressure from any BJP leader to finalise the tender for a higher price.

The objections regarding the jackwell tender amount have been raised by former PCMC standing committee chairperson Seema Savale.

“I suspect PCMC is going to pay Rs 30 crore more to the contractor. The original tender amount is Rs 121 but PCMC is in the process of awarding the contract for Rs 151 crore,” said Savale in a letter to the municipal commissioner.

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NCP Pimpri-Chinchwad unit chief Ajit Gavahane alleged that there was a problem with the entire tender process. “Even the contracting company which has been selected is blacklisted in another state. Yet the PCMC is awarding a contract to such a company,” Gavahane pointed out.

Savale said the PCMC had quoted Rs 121 crore for the construction of the jackwell. “In the beginning, PCMC received only two offers. PCMC then issued another tender. For this, PCMC had extended the last date for submitting the tender thrice as there were few takers. Even then, two contractors who had submitted the tenders the first time were the only ones to approach the second time. One of them was disqualified owing to lack of experience,” she said.

However, Savale said the lone contractor had quoted 39 per cent more amount than the original tender amount of Rs 121 crore. “The company had quoted Rs 169 crore for the jackwell work. After the PCMC requested the company to reduce the amount, it quickly scaled down the amount by Rs 17 crore. It offered to take up the work for Rs 151 crore.”

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Smelling something fishy in the process, Savale wondered how it was possible for the company to scale down its price by Rs 17 crore, overnight. “I suspect there is a nexus between contractors and some politicians and therefore the PCMC commissioner should take a hard look at this tender before finalising it,” she said.

First published on: 09-12-2022 at 15:11 IST
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