TODAY -

Slur Cast In Selection Of Contractors For PMGSY Works By MSRRDA
RPF alleges irregularities in tender process

Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, May 30 2013: The proscribed RPF has alleged widespread irregularities in the tender process conducted by Manipur State Rural Roads Development Agency (MSRRDA) for selection of contractors for PMGSY works.

MSRRDA issued notice inviting tender (No 6/14/2011/MSRRDA/E-tender/PH-VIII on October 15, 2012 for 50 PMGSY packages including six packages for Chandel district, 16 for Senapati, two for Tamenglong, and 15 for Ukhrul district.

Details of the notice as given in newspaper advertisement and details available in website were quite different thereby creating confusing to aspiring contractors/bidders, said a press release issued by the outfit's publicity secretary Roben Khuman.

As given in the notice, estimated cost and approximate estimated cost for Sl No 1, package no 242 were Rs 590.00 lakhs.

The estimated cost given in the tender was five digits lesser than the actual estimated cost.

Allowing certain agencies/individuals to bid for the tender at the amount five digits lesser than the actual amount was a clear indication of MSRRDA officials conniving to allot the contractors to bidders of their choice.

By allowing certain contractors to bid for the tender at an amount five digits lesser than the actual estimated cost, Chief Engineer Babuchand was openly deceiving a large number of contractors who bid for the tender according to rules and regulations.

E-tender for Phase VIII should have been completed by November 19, 2012 but the tender was postponed at the 11th hour up to November 21 as the Chief Engineer's chosen contractors could not submit their bids in time.

Technical bid for the tender was opened at Hotel Classic on November 22 and the process lasted till the next day.

Even as many contractors/bidders demanded to know the detail estimated cost of the technical sanction copy, Chief Engineer Babuchand turned down their demand.

Concealment of the technical sanction copy allowed the officials to allot the contract works to contractors of their choice.

Financial bid of the same tender was opened in the office room of the Chief Engineer on January 17, 2013 in presence of members of contractors' association.

On January 22, the Chief Engineer rang up the contractors' association and asked them to take part in opening the technical sanction copy which was purportedly kept lock in the former's office room.

According the technical sanction copy was opened jointly by the Joint Secretary RD&PR, Chief Engineer, SE and the contractors' association.

However, the locker/godrej was found unlocked on the day, and none of the concerned officials could not give a satisfactory answer for keeping the locker unlocked.

Each of the contractor who took part in the tender bid bought tender forms at Rs 20,000 for each package.

Technical Sanction Copy for each of the 50 packages were found inside 50 envelopes.

Each of the envelopes contained memorandum copy (Annexure-G), BOQ copy (Annexure-H) and Technical Sanction Copy.

Although the first two items were given/shown to the contractors, technical sanction copy was held back.

Of the 50 BOQs (for the 50 packages), 27 were signed by the Chief Engineer while the remaining 23 BOQs were signed and sealed twice.

Appending the BOQs twice with different seals indicated that the Chief Engineer manipulated the documents in his effort to allot the packages to his near and dear ones, RPF asserted.

Although work orders should be issued to the lowest bidders within 90 days after the tender was opened, the MSRRDA Chief Engineer never informed the bidders whether the work orders have been issued or not.

From the very beginning, the tender process was corrupted and it was turned into a means of earning money under the table by MSRRDA officials.

Cost of tender form in the previous phase was Rs 10,000 but it was suddenly increased to Rs 20,000 in phase VIII.

From selling tender forms only, the department earned Rs 1,06,80,000.The outfit, after a thorough investigation, has learnt where this huge money was spent, from who and who how many percentage was deducted and also who took how much bribe money.

By manipulating rules and browbeating their own way, 99 per cent of the packages have been allotted to contractors related or close to MSRRDA officials.

Contractors close or related to the officials got 6/7 packages each.

Even at the last minute before the tender results were about to be declared, the results were held back on the pretext of mechanical error only to select one of their chosen contractor by making him the lowest bidder by manipulating documents as well as rules, the outfit disclosed.

The PMGSY Phase-VIII packages were monopolised exclusively by RD&PR Minister, MSRRDA Chief Engin- eer, SE, SW, EE, AE-2 and Cashier.

They have made a mockery of all the efforts, money and time dedicated by professional contractors to win the bid through proper channel.

If they wish to be contractors, the Chief Engineer, SE, SW, EE, AE and the Cashier should resign from the present posts, RPF stated.

Such manipulation of rules and deceitful practices also contributed in elevating anguish and despair among hill people on the thought that valley people for grabbed all the opportunities and benefits entitled to them (hill people).

The attitude and conduct of bureaucrats who are only interested in amassing their personal wealth by hook and crook is one of the major factors for the growing distrust and hatred between different communities.

But the reality is, bureaucrats have been exploiting all the people irrespective of whether one lives in the hills or the valley.

Their (bureaucrats) attitude and conduct have been adding more fire power to New Delhi's divide and rule policy.

Such colonial policy being executed by bureaucrats should be uprooted but this would be possible only when Manipur regains its independence.

For this very reason, all the people need to join the liberation movement, it added.


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