Corporation requests smaller offers worth Rs 40 crore for rainwater drainage

CHENNAI: The corporation on Friday called tenders worth 40 crore for construction of missing link storm water drains. This is a part of the 123 crore tenders cancelled in December 2018. These new tenders have been broken into smaller projects with estimates between 30 lakh and 1.25 crore. The earlier package tenders were worth 2 crore.

The tenders were cancelled following allegations of contractors-officials collusion and to ensure more contractors take part and bring in transparency in the system. In all, 99 projects to build missing link storm water drains, rejuvenate ponds and form new parks will be taken up.

While the activists and contractors were happy with the decision, corporation officials said it would be challenging to inspect the quality of each work. A corporation engineer said missing link storm water drains will be set up in 77 locations, 12 new parks will be formed and 10 lakes will be rejuvenated by these smaller contractors. “We shifted to package tenders because it would ensure better quality. But since several contractors stated that they were out of work, we decided to break down projects for them,” said an official.

Mark Selvaraj, a project management consultant of greater Chennai corporation said, “Since these are smaller contractors, they will get material from different plants and we have to visit all the plants for quality checks. They will also lay the roads on the same day and it will be difficult for us to visit all locations.” When asked about violations made by bigger contractors, he said even they compromised on quality and action was taken.

Jayaram Venkatesan, managing trustee of Arappor Iyakkam said this was their first victory. “Only 40 crore worth tenders have been broken down. This will ensure participation of many contractors and reduction in project price. But it will happen only if the officials accept their earnest money deposit and other certificates,” he said.