BDA accused of tampering with tender documents

BDA accused of tampering with tender documents

BDA accused of tampering with tender documents

The Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), facing flak for floating tenders even before possessing land for the formation of Nadaprabhu Kempegowda Layout, is alleged to have tampered with the tender conditions to favour three companies and avoid a re-tendering process for the formation of roads in the layout.

The three firms shortlisted for five packages of forming roads of 24-metre, 30-metre and 45-metre width are Madhucon Project Pvt Ltd, Nagarjuna Construction Company and BSCPL Infrastructure Limited. The total bid value for the five packages was Rs 2,199 crore, as per bids submitted by the three.

Documents with Deccan Herald suggest that the BDA, on January 18, received a note from its engineer member stating that the financial bid value, after negotiations with the three construction firms, was exceeding by nearly Rs 680 crore, compared with the BDA’s estimate of Rs 1,518 crore.

The subject agenda was numbered 33/13 for the BDA Board to either accept or reject the proposal. In the note, it was suggested that “these tenders fall in the category of substantially higher value as per the circular of the Ordinance department, No. PWD 135980/FC 2001 (p-2), dated December 3, 2002. Hence, the negotiation committee decided to place the matter before the Authority for taking an appropriate decision on these tenders.”

As per the circular quoted in the note to the Authority, “the tender scrutiny committee or the evaluating officer, as the case may be, depending on the value of the contract, may choose to propose to the tender acceptance authority to reject all tenders and re-ignite fresh tenders or negotiate.”

However, ignoring the above clause and the note from its engineer member that tenders were of high value, the BDA again called for the subject matter and passed it under a fresh agenda number 71/13 on February 5.

The financial bid this time was shown as valued at Rs 401 crore in excess, after negotiations with the companies. The tender was valued at 22 per cent over and above the negotiated price. Incidentally, there has been no change in the bid value submitted by the three companies and is placed at Rs 2,199 crore. However, the estimation cost increased to Rs 1,797.8 crore.

Sources privy to the tender estimations claimed that the BDA ‘manipulated’ the tender value by taking the onus of maintenance cost for two years and also adjustments for notional escalation in prices, which in any tender bid is the responsibility of the contractor.

Sources told Deccan Herald that the excess of 22 per cent could be accepted by the tender acceptance authority under ‘exceptional’ circumstances. “But in reality, the bids are close to 46 per cent above the costs estimated by the BDA,” sources said.

BDA commissioner T Sham Bhatt said: “The matter has been placed before the court and tenders have been stayed. We have not approved the tender amount as of date.”

Ironically, the BDA commissioner had signed on the ‘renewed’ note to the Authority, which was placed before him for taking ‘appropriate’ action on the negotiated amount.
On March 11, the pre-qualification tenders for the formation of roads in Kempegowda Layout had been stayed by the High Court till further orders.

In figures

                                         Jan 18 nOTE to    Feb 5 note to
                                          BDA: no 33/13    bda: no 71/13
Project estimation              Rs 1,069.6 cr    Rs 1,069.6 cr
Total project cost 
on 50 pc of balance amt    Rs 1,518.8 cr    Rs 1,797 cr
Lowest negotiable amt       Rs 2,199 cr    Rs 2,199 cr
Excess amount:                Rs 680.97 cr    Rs 401.98 cr

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