What bogs down BBMP’s lake rejuvenation plans?


Delay in release of payments by BBMP is being cited as a reason why contractors are not rushing to bid for the development work of at least 6 lakes in the city

Not many contractors are evincing interest in participating in development and rejuvenation of at least six lakes in the City. The Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike has been issuing tenders again and again, but nobody is willing to go for it. This reluctance is being attributed to the delay in release of payments by the BBMP as these projects are funded by the civic agency. In contrast, contractors are quite keen on projects taken up under government grants as the payment is on time.

In the last one year, the BBMP has been inviting bids from contractors almost every second month for developing the Kempambudhi lake at an estimated cost of nearly Rs 1 crore. It has got no response.

Same is the case with regard to lakes such as Arekere, Hulimavu, Gangashetty in KR Puram, Horamavu and Vengaiah. Officials have been repeatedly floating fresh tenders only to find no bidders.

Contractors say that they end up waiting for two to three years for the BBMP to release payments. “Since the cost of materials has gone up, it is not viable to participate in the tenders unless the payments are made on time,” a contractor said. The BBMP, he said, is not increasing the tender premium or tweaking conditions to encourage more bidders. “No manufacturer is willing to provide material on a credit basis. This is keeping many contractors away from participating in the bids.”

Senior officials admitted that a few lakes have been receiving no response from the contractors. “It is not that no contractor is participating. We have already tendered out development of around 25 lakes,” the BBMP official said.

Advertisement

Since the cost of materials has gone up, it is not viable to participate in the tenders unless the payments are made on time by the BBMP

– A contractor

“There was not much response for the tenders of Hulimavu and Arekere lake as procurement of large pipes constitutes 90 per cent of the project cost. The labour cost is only 10 per cent. The contractors feel that it is not worth waiting for 2-3 years for the payment when they have to invest lot of money towards purchasing the pipes,” he said. The lack of response for Kempambudhi Lake, he said, also pertains to cost of materials. It’s learnt that the development of lakes funded by Chief Minister’s Nava Nagarothana scheme and Shubra Bengaluru scheme has received good response from the contractors.

V Ramprasad, convener of Friends of Lakes, said that the BBMP should stop calling tenders if they cannot ensure that payments are made on time. “If the contractor does not have the confidence of getting payments immediately after delivering the work, the quality of work suffers,” he said. The BBMP, he suggested, must create an escrow account so that all lakes works are not starved of funds. He urged officials to put a brake on projects that add no value or create an asset for the corporation.



Source link

Advertisement

Sagar Biswas

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *