Ward-level contracts: Road repair bids slide by 49%
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Despite facing criticism over abnormally low bids received from contractors for civil works and roads construction contracts, the ward level contracts for repair of minor roads have yet again received bids lower by as much as 48.88 per cent in one case. Of the total 24 bids received, 23 contractors have placed bids 25 per cent lower than the market rate of the work to be carried out, without attaching a rate analysis sheet.
As per BMC rules, if a contractor's bid is lower than 15 per cent, a thorough rate analysis has to be attached, explaining how work will be carried out at such low rates. The same set of roads contractors who have been bidding over the past many years, are on the verge of bagging the contracts when their financial bids were opened by the civic body last month. The bids were abnormally low against the estimated cost of the work, raising serious questions about the quality of work that will be delivered.
The two-year contracts cost Rs 240 crore, with Rs 10 crore for each ward. The money will be utilised for minor road repairs. The lowest bidder, Prime Civil Infrastructure, bid 48.88 percent lower for work in the S ward (Bhandup area). A contractor, requesting anonymity, said the business has seen no new entrant in the past many years. "All contractors are seasoned players and have been bidding for these projects for many years," he said.
Cracking the whip on contractors for bidding abnormally low for the civil works contract (CWC), the civic body has made it mandatory for the 31 CWC contractors to give evidence of how they will keep to their ridiculously low bids.
"Similar to CWC, we have asked roadwork contractors to make a detailed presentation justifying their bids. They are yet to do it," said a senior roads department official.
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