CHENNAI: The main reason for several works remaining incomplete is the shortage of manpower and absence of tender condition mandating that contractors should have a certain number of workers, sources said.
When contractors bid for civic works, the Greater Chennai Corporation verifies their eligibility, including financial stability, past experience and possession of machinery are only considered. But, whether the contractor has the required manpower to complete the works on time is not considered during bidding. Due to this, the same contractor would bid for two or more works with only limited manpower.
“The civic body should verify if a contractor can complete the works within the stipulated time before giving him two or three works. Also, contractors who delays works should not be given extension for any reason except natural calamities,” said Radhakrishnan of Arappor Iyakkam.
Getting extension only encourages contractors to take up two or more works without sufficient manpower, he added. During a massive project to construct and renovate storm water drains, some contractors took up multiple works but they were able to deploy only a small number of workers. After realising that the work was not getting over as expected, the civic body instructed the contractors to shift their workers from other sites so as to complete works in vulnerable areas on priority.
When asked about the eligibility of contractors, a civic body engineer said contractor should have experience of completing a work worth 40 per cent of the total project cost, the required machinery and bank balance or bank overdraft of 30 per cent of the project cost. “Contractors are also facing shortage of workers who are mostly from other states. Due to demand for manpower, workers prefer jobs that provide higher wages and are easier,” the engineer added.