BBMP landfill tender stinks of violations

BBMP's new tender too violates SWM rules that bar dumping of mixed waste

Days after the BBMP had to cancel a tender for landfills because it violated both environment and transparency rules, the civic body has raised a stink once again. Its latest tender flies in the face of Solid Waste Management (SWM) Rules, 2016.

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had recently cancelled the tender for setting up two landfills at Mitiganahalli (at an estimated cost of Rs 64 crore) and Marenahalli (Rs 120 crore), a week before the finalisation schedule.

It was then alleged that the officials were trying to escape the tender process and favour a contractor by awarding the work through the Karnataka Rural Infrastructure Development Limited (KRIDL). The BBMP officials have now admitted that the tender was notified in newspapers but the documents were not uploaded on the e-procurement portal.

Speaking to DH, Basavaraj Kabade, executive engineer, Project Central-5 and SWM, BBMP, said, “We had floated tender for the landfills in late June but had to cancel it following recommendations from the Technical Guidance Committee (TGC). Later, we decided to set up one landfill at the cost of Rs 64 crore at Mitiganahalli for which we have now floated the tender,” he said.

Now, this tender too violates SWM rules that bar dumping of mixed waste. BBMP officials are aware of the rule, but are still seeking to set up a landfill to dump the same. “Currently, the segregation of waste is not taking place. Where will the mixed waste on streets go if we don’t move it to the landfill,” the official asked.

The BBMP had written to the Urban Development Department (UDD) several times seeking 4(G) exemption under the Karnataka Transparency in Public Procurement Act (KTPP). The UDD had denied the exemption and sought an explanation. To seek exemption, the BBMP had then claimed that no bidder participated in the tender.

However, some of the contractors complained that they never got a chance to participate as the documents were not uploaded on the portal.
Kabade said they had floated tenders but did not upload documents on the portal as the TGC was pushing for full segregation of waste.

“We cancelled that tender in just 20 days. Now we have uploaded all documents for the new tender,” he said.

A BBMP official said not uploading the tender invites criminal charge under KTPP rules.

“It means they deliberately tried to avoid the bidding process. Moreover, the plan was to award work to a close relative of a former mayor,” he said.

When contacted, Mayor Gangambike Mallikarjun said, “We had sought the approval of the deputy chief minister on June 1, 2019, and the tender was approved in November 2018. But I don’t know why they are mulling to go for work through KRIDL. It
looks fishy... it looks like the officials have some agenda,” she said.

Opposition Party Leader Padmanabha Reddy said, “I will bring it to the notice of the council meeting and demand ACB investigation into the matter. These officials must be suspended immediately,” he said.

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