Bickering companies delay revamp of Byculla zoo

Two construction companies lock horns over a clause in the Byculla zoo authority's contract about veterinarian

The much-awaited revamp of the Byculla zoo is expected to be completed by December 2016. However, several hurdles line in its way — chief among them being a fight between two contractors regarding the redevelopment of the entrance plaza.

Byculla zoo
The revamp of the Byculla zoo (above) will be done in 2016

Last year, the Building Maintenance (BM) Department had floated tenders for the construction of the entrance plaza at the cost of Rs 17 crore. The Byculla zoo authority’s contract specified those construction companies hopeful of bagging the contract should have a veterinary physician with 25 years experience of working in a single company.

Controversy arose when Highway Constructions bagged the contract and a competing bidder, Kinjal Construction, approached the Procurement Reddresal Committee (PRC), alleging that the veterinary doctor provided by Highway Constructions works for them as well.

The matter lies pending in the PRC and because of this, the BM department has not been able to take a decision regarding the matter.

“There is dispute between companies and it is with PRC. As of now, we have not received a stay order from PRC regarding the contract. After conducting further investigations, the Central Zoo Authority sent a letter stating that the veterinary doctor was allegedly involved in carrying out experiments on animals and can no longer be considered. So now, they are finding some other doctor,” said RS Kuknoor, deputy municipal commissioner (Special Engineering).

The first phase of the revamp started last year, with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) allotting R150 crore for the project. The civic body has also proposed an extension of the zoo into Aarey Colony.

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