In order to facilitate developmental works in rural areas in districts affected by Left Wing Extremism (LWE), the government has decided to allow states to award tenders for construction of roads under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) on a nomination basis, as against the current norm of inviting bids. This relaxation comes weeks before the Election Commission is expected to announce dates for the Lok Sabha polls, following which the model code of conduct will come into effect.
This would be applicable in the 27 worst LWE affected districts across nine states, as per the circular issued by the Rural Development ministry.
According to the ministry, owing to Maoist threat, there is often no response to call for tenders issued by the state repeatedly. In order to “enhance government presence and improve programme delivery in these areas and to provide access to social, economic, educational and health facilities to population of these areas”, the ministry says it has decided to allow these states to award tenders by nomination in cases where at least two calls inviting tenders have not elicited any response.
Such nominations will be decided by a committee headed by the District Magistrate. “The committee will look into every such work and decide on merit to award the same on a nomination basis with full justification to be recorded in the file,” the ministry order states.
According to ministry officials, the CRPF has also expressed interest in taking over construction of some roads in Chhattisgarh and talks have already been initiated to take this forward. Under the new relaxation, CRPF will not have to bid for the tender and can simply be nominated by the state.