Pimpri: The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has finally scrapped the much-debated tender process for implementing the ambitious 24x7 water supply project.
Pune Municipal Commissioner Kunal Kumar made the announcement in this regard, on Thursday, citing Goods and Services Tax (GST) and change in schedule of rates (market rates), as the basic reasons behind scrapping of the tender process.
He also admitted that the cost of the project quoted by the three companies, which were finalised for issuing work order, was 25 per cent above the estimated cost.
The PMC has planned a round-the-clock equitable and pressurised water supply and to implement the project, the water supply department of the PMC had floated four tenders but the opposition parties, mainly NCP and Congress, have been raising the issue of civic administration favouring specific private agencies so they can be eligible for participating in the tender process and form a cartel for minting more money through high quotation price.
Addressing mediapersons, Kumar said that the tender was opened on June 7 and PMC found that the rates quoted by the three companies were 25 per cent higher. “So we decided to find out the basic reasons.
After the analysis of the tender process, we observed that the rates quoted by the bidders existed before the implementation of the GST, so we felt the need to float a new tender based on the post-GST rates and a new schedule of rates. The schedule of rates will be readied by this weekend and the process for floating the new tender will start after that only,” Kumar said.
Taking the decision of scrapping the existing tender process and floating a new tender, Kumar decided to introduce the operation and maintenance cost of Rs 20 crore per annum for the next 10 years, which was another shocker for all. But when asked whether he justified the inflated rates quoted by the bidders and whether they had formed a cartel, he refused to comment.
However, he assured that if the PMC receives inflated rates in the future, then it will rethink the tender process.
However, the BJP found itself in deep trouble over the inflated rates and decided to cancel the tender process.
But to take credit for this to show that it saved taxpayers money, Mayor Mukta Tilak and Standing Committee Chairman Murlidhar Mohol held a press conference.
They said that the decision was taken after detailed consultation with Pune Guardian Minister Girish Bapat.