The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Tuesday invited fresh tenders worth Rs 1,362 crore for concretising the roads in the island city.
The BMC’s move came a month after the civic authorities issued a termination letter to the contractor who was earlier awarded the work for delaying the start of work.
In January, the BMC awarded work orders worth Rs 5,800 crore to five mega contractors for concretizing a total of 397 km of roads in Mumbai.
Out of the total roads that were to be concretized, the earlier contractor was supposed to carry works on a 214 km stretch of roads in the island city that would cover eight municipal wards.
In May, the BMC had also imposed a penalty of Rs 10 crore on this contractor for delaying the start of works. Even when the work orders for carrying out these works were issued in January, the actual works did not start till the start of monsoon this year, since civil works are not carried out during the rains.
Later in November, former corporator from Colaba, Makarand Narwekar issued a complaint against the contractor and following which the authorities terminated the contract.
The officials said that the cost of new tender has slightly increased as new works have been included in it.
The cost of the new tender is 10 per cent less than the earlier one, which was scrapped last month. “We have excluded some additional items in the scope of work in the present tender which has led to a decrease in the tender by a margin. These items were taken care of by us and involving them in the new tender would mean doing the same work twice,” said an official. The previous tender had cost Rs 1,670 crore.
The BMC has kept its deadline for receiving applications open till December 27. Considering the normal practices, it may take BMC at least two-three weeks to issue the work order and the actual work could only start by February 2024.
Issuing a letter to municipal commissioner and state appointed administrator, Iqbal Singh Chahal, Shiv Sena (UBT) legislator Aaditya Thackeray questioned the decrease in tender cost. “How has the cost of tender been reduced in the new tender? Does this mean that the first tender was overpriced or is this one underpriced?,” said Aaditya in his letter.
Meanwhile, Narwekar on Tuesday also sent a letter to Chahal expressing his opposition to the new tender as well. “Looking at current tender conditions and timelines, I don’t see any possibility of completing the CC road works in South Mumbai before the arrival of the monsoon. So, the only solution is to split this mega tender into small ward-wise tenders to expedite the commencement and completion of CC road works,” said Narwekar.