VIJAYAWADA: With the completion of the reverse tendering for Polavaram project, the State Water Resources department has informed the Union Jal Shakti Ministry of the outcome of the process. The State officials presented to the ministry the details of the savings done in both irrigation and hydel projects by going for reverse tendering.
Special Chief Secretary (Water Resources) Adityanath Das along with State officials met Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Union Secretary of Water Resources UP Singh in New Delhi on Wednesday and maintained that it saved a total of Rs 838.53 crore through reverse tendering -- Rs 58.53 crore in package 65 (awarded to Max Infra India Ltd), Rs 223 crore in irrigation headworks and Rs 557 crore in hydel power plant. The Special Chief Secretary informed them that the department is awaiting the orders of High Court as Navayuga Engineering Company Ltd (NECL) filed a petition challenging APGENCO’s decision to terminate its contract.
“The State officials briefed the Union minister and secretary on the status of the reverse tendering and that an appropriate decision will be taken as per court’s directive,” a senior official said.
It may be recalled that the court had issued an interim stay, as prayed by NECL, on the process of entrustment of the hydel power plant to another agency. The APGENCO too filed a petition requesting that the interim stay be quashed. Both the pleas are under the consideration of the AP High Court.
In the past, the Union ministry is learnt to have recorded the details and asked the State to furnish more details as and when available. In the past, Jal Shakti Minister Shekhawat, the ministry and Polavaram Project Authority (PPA) had cautioned the YSRC government against reverse tendering as it may lead to delay in project execution and that there was no guarantee that the cost would come down.
While the minister expressed concern in Parliament, the PPA held an emergency meeting and wrote a letter advising the State against going ahead with its plan. However, the State government issued a fresh tender notification on August 17.
Govt to go ahead if court order takes longer time
Sources said that if the decision of the court takes longer time, the Water Resources department may go ahead with awarding the works to Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Ltd (MEIL), the only firm which participated in the bidding and quoted Rs 628.43 crore lesser than the estimated contract value (ECV) of Rs 4,987.55 crore for both the projects. For irrigation headworks, it quoted Rs 223 crore lesser than the ECV of Rs 1,771.44 crore. The government, even though clubbed irrigation and power plant works while tendering, had planned to have separate contracts for both of them. “So, if there is more delay than expected, since we want to resume the works by November, we will give work order for irrigation component first. Once the court gives orders on power plant, we will take a decision accordingly,” the official elaborated