Sweeping machine tenders cancelled

Bangalore Mirror had highlighted how the tender conditions were favouring only two companies

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has cancelled the tenders floated for the purchase of 25 self-propelled sweeping machines, following allegations that the bid conditions were drafted to favour a certain company. Bangalore Mirror had written about Palike’s tender conditions (Sweep child of mine, Feb 3, 2021) which made it a cakewalk for two companies. Officials, it’s learnt, were under pressure to opt for fresh tenders as only two manufacturers had participated in the contract involving supply, operations and maintenance (O&M) of the machines for a period of seven years. The project was estimated to cost Rs 230 crore.

“We have cancelled the bids as only two companies participated in the tender. A fresh tender will be floated by relaxing certain conditions in a week’s time,” Sarfaraz Khan, Joint Commissioner (Solid Waste Management), BBMP said. The project is funded under BBMP’s Shubra Bengaluru programme.

Of the two companies, sources said only TPS Infrastructure Ltd, which has already supplied and currently operates 27 sweeping machines for the BBMP, fulfilled all the criteria to clear the technical evaluation. Another bidder, Lion Services, it’s learnt, was not eligible for the contract. Sources said that Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa’s office had directed the BBMP to cancel the tenders.

One of the mistakes committed by BBMP officials was making earnest money deposit (EMD) of Rs 66.5 lakh mandatory in the tender. The State Government, in its order dated December, 2020, had exempted submission of EMD for all tenders with an objective to make tenders much more competitive. Some manufacturers had said they stayed away from the tenders as they were sure of not bagging the contract and providing initial deposit would have not been a waste of time and resource.


Sweep child of mine

TPS Infrastructure Ltd and Lion Services Ltd are the two companies which are vying for the prized contract. The civic body plans to open the financial bids after reviewing the performance of machines supplied by both the companies over the next one month.

On its part, TPS Infrastructure Ltd claims that the company being blacklisted by New Delhi Municipal Council is false. “It’s a nefarious campaign being run continuously for the last four years by the groups with vested interests,” a company representative said in an email. “We were compelled to stop sweeping operation for a few days due to non-receipt of payment by BBMP for more than a year. However, we re-started our operations on the request of BBMP and residents’ Welfare Groups within 3-4 days,” Nagpal said.

Meanwhile, manufacturers want the BBMP to also include truck-mounted machines which are easy and inexpensive to maintain. They also want the inclusion of vacuum and conveyer (mechanical) machines so that more companies could participate in the tender. Experts also said that the present machines, supplied by TPS Infrastructure, are unable to clean footpaths and roads without fixed edges.

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Sagar Biswas

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