Mumbai: BMC favours 'blacklisted' bidder for Rs 243-crore road repair
While the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has already disbursed 18 per cent of the allocated budget for the much-needed repairing of roads, a recent contract of Rs 243 crore created an uproar in the standing committee meeting yesterday.
The BMC is looking to cross the Rs 1,000-crore mark for road contracts before the end of the financial year. File pic
According to members of the opposition, the lowest bidder for the contract has been blacklisted by the Kolhapur Municipal Corporation. The road contract to concretise around 18 roads of western suburbs has the lowest bid from Relcon Infraprojects Ltd, a contractor that was previously blacklisted by the civic body of Kolhapur.
The BMC, which has already given out contracts worth R900 crore, and is looking to cross the R1,000-crore mark by the end of the fiscal, will have to wait for the next standing committee meeting before the contentious contract is finalised.
Incidentally, the road contract, which had three bidders, had two contractors with the same, lowest bid, but the BMC administration decided to favour Relcon over J Kumar Infraprojects Ltd. Since both contractors have
significant experience, the opposition wanted to know why Relcon was given preference despite the BMC knowing that it was blacklisted.
Sandeep Deshpande, the group leader of MNS, said, “How can the BMC prefer a contractor that has been blacklisted by another civic body, despite two contractors bidding the lowest? The ruling party has time and again pointed out that our corporation should not favour any contractor who is blacklisted.”
Additional municipal commissioner SVR Srinivas said, “We have taken a legal opinion and found out that there is a stay on the blacklist on Relcon, therefore there should not be any issue to give the contract to Relcon, legally.”
Tejas Shah, the director of Relcon Infraprojects Ltd, said, “The civil court of Kolhapur had put a stay on the blacklist and the status quo continues. I don’t see any legal problem with us bidding for the BMC road contract.”