The BBMP’s ambitious single window to expedite ward-level works is a failure, going by the dismal number of projects it has initiated in its 198 wards. In fact, 50 per cent of works for which the municipal corporation called for tenders evoked no response.
On October 23, the BBMP standing committee for ward works approved 2,787 works for 2013-14 and earmarked `494 crore for their completion. Committee Chairman A H Basavaraju told Express the process had begun last month, but had run into some hurdles.”
“Except for emergency works like pothole filling, which we have given to the Karnataka Rural Infrastructure Development Limited (KRIDL), we had called for tenders for all other works,” he said. Tenders for the 2,726 works were to be opened on December 4. “But chief engineers of all eight zones got transferred. This caused a delay,” he added.
That is not the only reason for the delay. Bidders participated in only 1,367 of 2,726 tenders. Basavaraju said officials would now call for a second round of tenders. One reason for the lack of enthusiasm, Basavaraju said, could be that the BBMP has not paid contractors their dues. “If we do not get a response for the third call, we can entrust the work directly to the KRIDL. The BBMP Council passed a resolution last month to this effect,” he said.
The Chamarajpet sub-division had no executive engineer to open the bid. “An executive engineer has now been deputed,” he said.
Basavaraju said some of the contractors had “blackmailed” the BBMP and threatened that they would not participate in the tender process. “But we received tenders for 1,367 works. Some quoted low rates, which means the competition is good. And interestingly, more than 50 per cent of the bidders are new contractors, “Basavaraju claimed. By his reckoning, this shows that the single window system is helping new contractors participate in the tender process.
He said work orders for 1,367 works would be issued on December 16 in all eight zones.
Info boards at BBMP offices
Boards with the mobile and landline numbers of BBMP officials will be displayed in front of their offices. Officials will also add the names and contact numbers of relevant BWSSB, BESCOM, police, and BMTC officials to that board. A circular by the DC (Admin) reminds officials that citizens depend on the control room for information and redressal on a wide variety of problems, and this would lessen the burden on the BBMP. “The Commissioner has written to other agencies suggesting similar boards,” Basavaraju, chairman of standing committee on works, said.
Statue first, OK next
Four months after Sir M Visvesvaraya’s statue was installed in Nagapura ward, the BBMP’s ward committee gave it a belated approval. The delay, before September 2013, there was no standing committee to approve the statue, Basavaraju, chairman of the standing committee on works,said.