BBMP skips tenders for Rs 21-cr bus lane project

Buses will get a priority lane from November 1 onwards. But not all buses are using the dedicated lane during the trial run.

In a hurry to implement the bus priority lane project, the BBMP has bypassed the tendering process and awarded the work to contractors executing projects on the stretches where the bus lanes are expected. 

The civic body has finalised the 22-kilometre bus lane through Indiranagar 100 Feet Road, Old Madras Road, Benniganahalli Bridge, KR Puram railway station, Outer Ring Road, Marathahalli, Iblur Junction and Central Silk Board Junction for the trial run. 

The civic body would spend about Rs 21 crore to instal 25,000 metallic bollards, lane-marking, colour pigmentation at entry and exit points, signboards and surface works. 

With BBMP Commissioner B H Anil Kumar setting November 1 as deadline, the civic body circumvented the tendering process and handed the project to four contractors. 

One of the two of the contractors working on the lane along the Outer Ring Road is laying the signal-free corridor along Old Madras Road, while the other is laying the high-density corridors in HSR Layout. 

“We’ve finalised the route and believe the work will be finished within the timeline,” the BBMP’s chief engineer for road infrastructure, Somashekhara S, told DH. “We’ve not floated tenders for the work for reasons of expeditiousness and (instead) handed it to existing contractors.” 

Asked if the 4(G) exemption has been sought for the work, Somashekhara answered in the negative.  “There’s a provision in the PWD Works Act to take up work for an immediate purpose. We’ve taken up the work without handing work orders to the contractors. But the contractors should abide by clauses in their previous agreement and take responsibility for the additional work. There’s nothing wrong in this procedure,” he said. 

An official from another department, who wish not to be identified, said it was “clearly a breach of procedure”. “I can understand the hurry to implement the work because of the commissioner’s deadline. But handing over the work to existing contractors might give rise to irregularities in payment and implementation,” he added. 

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