2nd tender for emission testing centres favours 1 firm

The Transport Department’s second tender for the networking of 1,098 emission test centres in the state has again attracted criticism from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) whose exclusion had led to the scrapping of the first tender.

The Request for Proposal to select service providers for the networking of the centres was earlier sent to a standing committee following allegations that it favoured one company. “The first tender only explicitly mentioned that the OEMs can’t participate. The second tender has retained some of the conditions that will indirectly exclude them,” said M N Sheshadri, the general manager of a private company.

OEMs raised objections to some of the technical specifications that were only available with one company. The specifications included ISO 9001 quality certification, ISO 27001 for data security, data processing certificate of Capability Maturity Model Integration Level 3 and above.

In a letter to the Joint Commissioner for Transport (Bengaluru Rural) Mallikarjun, who is also the member secretary at a technical review committee, Sheshadri alleges the conditions were “tailor-made” to suit one company. “We request you to ask for CERTIN certificate which is more genuine and more relevant to this tender...We urge and request your good self to remove these conditions in order (to) have a fair and competitive pricing.”

Transport Commissioner V P Ikkeri could not be reached despite repeated attempts. Joint Commissioner for Transport Mallikarjun said it was not a unilateral decision. “We held discussions with them and placed their views before committees of MLCs and technical experts. Years of work has gone into the tender and we want to bring a new regime of fail-safe emission testing system,” he said. He said the present system of networking, in the hold of OEM manufacturers, has not been able to prevent false certificates. "The new tender seeks to put an end to such violations," he said.

The head of another OEM said the project valued at Rs 5-6 crore can be now bagged by a company which has no experience in emission test machines or the technology. "We are providing services in other states and we have spent years in the emission test domain. It doesn’t require such complicated specifications. The said certifications are for large banks and corporations," he added.

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