BENGALURU: On Tuesday, the last day of the auction of 202 much sought-after BDA corner sites, the website suddenly crashed 20 minutes before the bidding was about to conclude, raising concerns about foul play. BDA has extended the auction deadline to 6 pm on Wednesday. Charges of malpractice and deliberate shutdown began floating around 5.40 pm when bidders attempting to raise their stakes could not log in to https://eproc.karnataka.gov.in. Engineer S K Yoganarasimha, one of the 2,000 bidders, said, “The last hour is the golden hour in such auctions.
We get to see what amounts competitors are willing to bid for a specific site and we can increase our stakes accordingly. Many decide on their final amounts only towards the end,” he said. The Delta hour (in which an additional five minutes is given from the minute a last bid is made) too is set to follow. Unlike other bidders who called up officials and media alleging foul play, Yoganarasimha thinks it could be a technical issue.
“With my technical background, it seems that the server may not take the load of so many bidding at the last minute. Hence, it could have crashed,” he said. Bidders need to deposit Rs 4 lakh to be eligible for the auction. The amount is refunded if the bidder does not get the allotment. BDA Commissioner H R Mahadev said that BDA did not have any control over the website.
“It is run by the e-procurement cell of the State government. Not by the BDA.” He confirmed that the bidding process was extended up to 6 pm on Wednesday. A senior BDA official said this kind of extension was not legally acceptable. “What if those who had placed their bids earlier miss this sudden news on extension announced at the last minute? They will lose the site itself. A re-auction is the right thing to do.”