Transport dept cancels tender for emission test centres

Transport dept cancels tender for emission test centres

DH file photo for representation

The Transport department has recalled the tender for Information Security Management System to manage Emission Testing Centres (ETCs).

The tender had drawn criticism since the tender document had certain tailor-made conditions to suit a particular company. The Transport department, on October 8, 2018, had uploaded the ‘Proposal for selection of service provider for ETCs networking in Karnataka’ through e-procurement portal. DH had published a report highlighting the flaws in the tender conditions.

The Petroleum Dealers’ Association, which claims that around 95% of ETCs are operating from petrol bunks, had filed a petition before the Legislative Assembly’s Committee on Petition alleging inaction by the Transport department in dealing with the instances of issuance of fake emission certificates in Bengaluru.

The association had objected to the department’s move to invite the tender. It said that there was no provision in the tender - the bidder should possess the recognition from the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), a research institute with the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises.

Certain equipment manufacturers had also raised objections to conditions stipulated in the Transport department’s proposal. Two out of the 11 conditions stipulated were objected to by these manufacturers. One of the conditions was that the bidder or manufacturer of the secured certificate should be empanelled with Indian Banks Association (IBA) and should not own or operate any ETC, and the other condition is that the bidder should not be an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) of emission testing equipment or own ETCs. These conditions defeat a fair and transparent tender process, the manufacturers stated. The Transport department has however quoted “administrative reasons” for cancelling the tender.

Welcoming the cancellation of the tender, Petroleum Dealers’ Association has requested the Transport department to ensure that a company with no less than 12-15 years of experience in the issuance of foolproof emission certificate be invited to participate in the tender.

“We have again urged the department to ensure that the project be given to a company with experience so that fraudsters cannot issue fake certificates. We have also communicated to the department that the petroleum dealers of various oil companies will remove all ETCs in Karnataka if networking software is not foolproof as we don’t want our dealers to end up in mess like in earlier cases,’’ a member said.