Palarivattom flyover graft: Accused rigged tender documents to help RDS

Tender, bid opening registers show amount quoted by RDS Project was entered only in figures while the rates of other bidders were entered in words and figures

Published: 25th September 2019 05:57 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th September 2019 05:57 AM   |  A+A-

The Palarivattom flyover in Kochi | FILE PIC

Express News Service

KOCHI: Apart from illegally sanctioning the mobilisation fund to RDS Project Ltd, the tender procedures of Palarivattom flyover project were also rigged to help the company win the bid.More frauds committed by the accused to help RDS Project have come to light with Vigilance and Anti Corruption Bureau (VACB) expanding the probe to the roles played by officials of Public Works Department (PWD), KITCO, Roads and Bridges Development Corporation of Kerala Ltd (RBDCK) and Kerala Road Fund Board (KRFB).As per RBDCK officials, the Tender Opening Register (TOR) and Bid Opening Register (BOR) were manipulated in favour of RDS Project.

The details of the TOR accessed by TNIE from RBDCK show that all price bids presented by the bidders were entered in the BOR. But the amount quoted by RDS Project was entered in the register only in figures while the rate of other bidders were entered both in words and figures.

“This was done to make necessary corrections in figures,” said an RBDCK source. RDS Project first quoted Rs 47,68,38,214 on which they again offered a rebate of 13.43 per cent and finally quoted Rs 41,28,03,312. “This amount was again corrected to Rs 41,27,98,841.859 and entered in the register,” the source said.

While the tender document has recorded a scoring and a correction, it was not in the BOR. Even rules under Section 2000 and 2001 Bids (Tenders) and Arrangements of Contract Subdivision 3 were grossly violated to help RDS Project.

“In Palarivattom flyover project, an item-wise tender was invited. As per the PWD manual rules, the contractor should not enter a percentage quotation in an item-wise tender. The rules specifically stipulate that a percentage rate quote should be rejected,” an officer said.

While a GO, (Rt)-1422/2013/PWD, issued for administrative sanction of the flyover states that “while executing the work, the MD of RBDCK will follow all government guidelines and PWD Manual and rules in this regard”, the accused violated the rules.

High Court seeks case diary

Kochi: The High Court on Tuesday directed the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) to produce the case diary pertaining to the Palarivattom flyover corruption case. Justice B Sudheendra Kumar issued the order while considering the bail petition of RDS Project Ltd MD Sumeet Goyal, Roads and Bridges Development Corporation of Kerala (RBDCK) former assistant general manager MT Thankachan, KITCO joint general manager Benny Paul and former PWD secretary TO Sooraj. The court also directed VACB to hand over documents, if any, against the accused persons. The counsel for Goyal informed the court that the company had incurred a loss of Rs 600 crore following the alleged graft charges related to the construction of the flyover. The court observed that it was a fact that the flyover needed to be demolished.

Offer to conduct ‘load test’ on Palarivattom flyover

Kochi: The Builders Association of India (BAI) has offered to conduct a ‘load test’ on Palarivattom flyover and requested the state government to let them make the stretch motorable. “We are ready to conduct our own ‘load test’ via an agency suggested by the government within a week. Similar to our life expectancy, there is no parameter to assess the life span of a flyover,”

Prince Joseph, BAI state chairman, told reporters on Tuesday. Members of the association said instead of rectifying errors in deck joints, the government was committing utter stupidity by going ahead with the demolition plan.

HC restrains govt from appointing P H Kurian in Real Estate Authority

Kochi: The High Court has directed the state government to not appoint former revenue secretary P H Kurian as either the chairman or a member of Kerala State Real Estate Authority. The court issued the order on a petition filed by Advocate H Josh, Thirumala, Thiruvananthapuram, seeking a directive to the government not to proceed with the steps for selecting the chairman and members of the authority.

The court said the order would be in force for two months. Thomas Abraham, counsel for the petitioner, argued that there were illegalities in the proceedings. Kurian is a member of the selection committee and has applied for the posts of chairman and a member of the authority. The government is taking hasty steps to make the appointment violating the binding statutory provisions, the counsel said.

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