Mumbai: Construction of cycling track gets costlier for BMC

Updated: Jun 11, 2018, 08:04 IST | A Correspondent | Mumbai

While the lowest bid for the first round of tendering was Rs 82 crore, the same for the second round was Rs 93 crore

Slums demolished near the Tansa water pipeline. File Pic
Slums demolished near the Tansa water pipeline. File Pic

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC's) decision to conduct a second round of tendering for the proposed 11-km cycling track at L ward of Kurla and G/N in Sion, along the Tansa water pipeline, has turned out to be an expensive affair for it. After the BMC invited bids for the project, only two bidders came forward in the first round. The lowest bidder had quoted Rs 82 crore for construction of the track. However, in the second round, the lowest amount quoted for the project was Rs 93 crore.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a civic official said, "The cycling track could have been constructed at a much lower cost. But now the same project will cost higher, as bidders have quoted more for it."

According to sources, the administration has been facing a number of hurdles, including encroachment by slum dwellers, since it decided to transform the stretch along the Tansa water pipeline into a dedicated cycling track.

Even Samajwadi Party leader Rais Shaikh had earlier criticised the project on grounds of cartelisation. Claiming that the cycling track wasn't a work that needed to be done on priority, Shaikh said, "If the bidders have formed a lobby and are trying to get more money out of the civic body, the BMC should conduct a detailed inquiry before awarding the work."

However, the civic authorities refuted the charges and claimed that the entire process had been designed in such a manner that there was no scope for anybody to manipulate the system by forming a cartel.

A senior civic official from the Hydraulic Engineering department, said, "There is no discrepancy in the tendering process. Earlier, the cost of tender was less, but as more work has been included in the project, the cost has increased. Hence, we cannot draw a comparison between the two costs."

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