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Rs 1.72 crore fine on L&T, Tech Mahindra for delay in Pune Smart City projects

The board of directors of Pimpri-Chinchwad Smart City Corporation Ltd, though, in a meeting on Friday, agreed to provide the firms with a three-month extension for completion of the projects, even as it refused to offer them any reduction in fine.

Written by Manoj Dattatrye More | Pune |
Updated: June 27, 2021 8:06:00 am
The projects pertained to laying of optical fibre cables in the city and the companies had cited lack of manpower due to Covid-related curbs as the reason for the almost three-month-long delay | Express photo

Taking strong exception to delay on part of L&T Limited and Tech Mahindra Limited in completion of Smart City projects assigned to them, the authorities at the Pimpri-Chinchwad Smart City Corporation Limited have imposed fines to the tune of Rs 1.72 crore on them.

The board of directors of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Smart City Corporation Limited, though, at a meeting held on Friday, agreed to provide the firms with a three-month extension for completion of the projects, even as it refused to offer them any reduction in fine.

The projects pertained to laying of optical fibre cables in the city and the companies had cited lack of manpower due to Covid-related curbs as the reason for the almost three-month-long delay.

Revealing the decisions taken at the meeting, Joint CEO of the Smart City project, Neelkanth Poman told The Indian Express on Saturday that the board of directors rejected the requests made by the two firms seeking a waiver on their fine amount. “The board has contended that whatever relief had to be given to them as per the government resolution had already been extended. Besides, the firms have been given an (additional) extension to complete their work,” he added.

Project Chairman Nitin Kareer, who is the State Principal Secretary, Municipal Commissioner Rajesh Patil and other directors were present at the meeting held at the Auto Cluster in Chinchwad.

Poman said that in all, five contractors were given the task of implementing 38 projects of the Smart City. “Of these, L&T is implementing six projects while Tech Mahindra is implementing 16 of them. Both the firms have not been able to complete their projects within deadline. Their work had proceeded at snail’s pace. Therefore, L&T was fined Rs 36 lakh while Tech Mahindra was fined Rs 1.36 crore,” he said. The amount has been deducted from their bills, he added.

An official from Tech Mahindra refused to comment on the development.

Poman said both companies had put forward a request to the board of directors to waive of their fine amount. “The two firms had requested that they were facing manpower and material shortage due to the ongoing pandemic and the resultant lockdown. They said migrant labourers had gone home, and material from foreign countries was also not available. However, the board’s view was that they have been given necessary relief already and no more exemption can be given to them.”

The board has given a six-month extension to the two firms to complete their works, he added.

The board has also decided to set up a separate committee for Fibre Cable Networking.

Besides, Poman said, the directors have decided to give a three-month extension to the contractor implementing the e-classroom project in 105 civic schools. “They are installing IT equipment in the schools at a cost of Rs 5.64 crore,” he said.

KPMG Limited, another private agency handling Smart City projects, has also been given a one-month extension to complete the tasks assigned to it.

“Depending on the implementation of the project, a call will be taken on further extension,” said PCMC chief Patil.

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The board said that out of the Rs 637 crore received from the Central government, Rs 521 crore have been spent on the projects. “In the next three months, several projects would be completed,” Patil said.

Mayor Usha Dhore, PCMC House leader Namdeo Dhake, Opposition leader Raju Misal, corporator and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) group leader Sachin Chikhale, corporator Pramod Kute, PMPML chairman and managing director Rajendra Jagtap, Pimpri-Chinchwad Police Commissioner Krishna Prakash, all of whom are directors of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Smart City Corporation Limited, were present at the meeting.

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