Corporation forced to issue retenders as wary contractors stay away

In a big embarrassment to the Greater Chennai Corporation, many of its high cost projects are continuously failing to elicit response from contractors, forcing the civic body to float retenders repeatedly. This has put major projects in limbo.
Corporation forced to issue retenders as wary contractors stay away
Greater Chennai Corporation

Chennai

Notable projects of the civic body that has failed to receive response are the privatisation of conservancy works in 11 zones and construction of a grade separator at Eldams Road junction on Anna Salai. Three different tenders have been floated for privatisation of conservancy in 11 zones, of which two are retenders.

The tenders for privatising conservancy works in eight zones of the civic body was floated in September for the first time. On Wednesday, the civic body conducted a pre-bid meeting with potential bidders, who responded to the fourth retender for undertaking the conservancy works.

“The only reason for contractors avoiding Chennai Corporation tenders is several misconducts. Floating tenders in the civic body has become a business. The tenders would be finalised only after the bidders accede to give certain percentage. Otherwise, they float retender,” alleged H Chandrabose, a Chennai Corporation contractor.

Chandrabose also pointed out that payment of earnest money deposit (EMD) in person is also a reason. Lack of new contractors, owing to the absence of real competition, is also being cited as a reason for poor response.

“As the estimation for Eldams Road bridge is fixed at Rs 120 crore, contractors should pay Rs 1.20 crore as EMD. Even though the EMD is refundable, it would be held for several months if they opt to go for retendering,” he added.

However, an official from the bridges department said that they cancelled Eldams Road bridge tender only due to a change in the structure of the bridge.

Meanwhile, a senior official from the Chennai Corporation claimed that the poor response to big tenders is due to the high budget. “We would wait for the suitable bidder and if we could not find eligible bidder, who will float retender,” he added.

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