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Stay on tendering of citizen app, e-governance for 10 smart cities

In a setback to the smart city mission, the Madras High Court on Tuesday ordered an interim stay in the tender process worth Rs 107 crore to design, develop, implement and maintain ‘Citizen Application and E-Governance application’ along with Integrated Command and Control Center (ICCC) for the proposed 10 smart cities of Tamil Nadu.

Stay on tendering of citizen app, e-governance for 10 smart cities
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Admitting a plea moved by Acetech Machinery Components India Private Limited, Coimbatore, seeking to set-aside the RFP (Request for Proposal) declaring Larsen and Toubro Limited (L&T), Mumbai as the lowest bidder by a notification on August 7, 2018, Justice R Mahadevan on Tuesday issued notice to special Government Pleader to get instructions on the above and held that the authorities shall not proceed till September 3.

The petitioner had contended that the Chairman and Managing Director, Tamil Nadu Urban Finance and Infrastructure Development Corporation (TUFIDCO) had stated in Request for Proposal (RFP)  that the CCC platform must be provided by the bidder in the form of a Platform as a Service (PaaS) model only allowing customers to develop, run, and manage applications without the complexity of building and maintaining the infrastructure typically associated with developing and launching an app.

But without any communication that non-native PassS will be accepted, TUFIDCO relaxed the technical norms during the tender evaluation process in favour of L&T, but not for the other bidders, the petitioner said.

“RFP requires that the cloud operations should be operated in such a manner that the Internet of Things (IoT) services should be natively offered as a PaaS with 99% availability rate of the service to send messages to registered devices and to receive messages. Such service will be faster as both the hardware and software are hosted in its own infrastructure,” the petitioner noted and added that contrary to such requirements, L&T has been declared as the lowest bidder though they provide a platform based on Cisco’s CCC and engaged Microsoft as their cloud service provider.

The matter relates to an urban renewal and retrofitting programme by Government of India with a mission to develop 100 Smart Cities Mission (SCM) cities all over the Country making them citizen friendly and sustainable. The Ministry of Urban Development Government of India is responsible for implementing the mission in collaboration with the State Governments of the respective cities. In Tamil Nadu the ten smart cities earmarked are Coimbatore, Madurai, Salem, Thanjavur, Tiruchirapalli, Vellore, Tirunelveli, Tiruppur, Thoothukudi and Erode.

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