Late night drama: BBMP says no hidden agenda

Commissioner denies award of contracts

 
The Palike was in the dock since January 6 when it amended its own orders to clear all the technical as well as the financial bids well ahead of election code coming to effect.

The BBMP landed in trouble on January 14, a public holiday in view of Makara Sankranti, when Opposition party leaders caught Palike officials working overtime till late in the night. The leaders levelled allegations against the Palike commissioner that he had awarded contracts worth Rs 3,400 crore to 19 bidders at the behest of the ruling BJP.

As the controversy raged, Palike Commissioner Bharatlal Meena clarified that the Palike did amend the dates of technical and financial bids so that the two processes be completed on January 12 but the contracts were not awarded.

“The Palike is not entitled to clear a project of more than Rs five crores but the state government is. We have neither awarded the contracts nor sent the files to the government,” said Meena.

When he was asked why the dates were amended, the Commissioner said the Palike had the right to decide the dates. “The amendments were done at the request  of bidders who wanted to advance the dates of opening the technical and financial bids on January 12,” said Bharatlal Meena.

To a question why the BBMP was showing extraordinary haste in clearing the bidding process for projects of Rs 3,248 crores, the Commissioner said it was an ongoing process.

Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa clarified that there was some technical snag in the e-procurement due to which the process could not be completed on Jan 12. He too stated that the bidding process that was extended till Jan 16 was advanced at the request of the contractors.

Chronology

*  Palike drew a city development plan worth Rs 22,000 cr
*  Expenditure in first stage of works this year is Rs 3,248 cr
*  Procedure started on Sept 23, 2009
*  List of prequalified contractors released on Dec 7, 2009
*  Technical and financial bid was to take place on Jan 12 and Jan 16 respectively
*  Election code for BBMP polls was coming to effect on Jan 15
*  Jan 6 order issued to close bidding process on Jan 12
*  Protests began from Jan 12.
*  Officials found working on late Jan 14 night in BBMP office.
* They had locked the doors from outside.
* The project is seven signal free roads and 512 km long road widening work

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