Shimla, Nov 13
Once again raising a question mark on the bidding process of World Bank water project for the Shimla planning area, former Deputy Mayor of Shimla and MLA candidate from Shimla urban Tikender Panwar has started that there is cartelisation in the project by L1 & L2 bidders resulting in huge loss of almost 33% above estimated value to the State exchequer.
Sharing the response on his complaint to World bank, Panwar in a mail to RD Dhiman, Chief Secratery of Himachal Pradesh has added, “Please find below a reponse letter from World Bank, India, Ms Smita Misra, water and sanitation expert, looking after the current project concerning the Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Water Supply and Sewerage Services Improvement Program (PForR), financed by the World Bank.”
In the response Smita Misra, expert from world bank has started, ” kindly note that the project in question is a Program for Results (PForR) project, which follows the procurement and complaint handling procedures of the ‘borrower,’ in this case, the Government of Himachal Pradesh (GoHP).” Adding, “For your information, World Bank procurement procedures applicable to Investment Project Financing (IPF) projects do not apply in the same way to PforR projects,” they stated.
A day after polling ended in the State, Panwar raising the matter has stated that this is resulting in loss to the state exchequer worth more than ₹200 crore.
He added that since only 2 parties came forth for participating in the bidding process, it is not in sync with the prescribed norms and therefore a re tender should be invited.
In October this year, while raising the matter with the Chief secratery Panwar had stated that Shimla Jal Prabandan Nigam Limited published a tender “Performance Based Contract for Implementation of Continuous Pressurised Water Supply” for Shimla on July 27, 2022. The estimated value of the tender, excluding O& M, was Rs 442 crore. Adding, that two firms submitted the bid on September 27, 2022, and on the same day, technical bids were opened by the department. On October 1, 2022, the urban development department declared both firms qualified. The financial bid of both firms was opened on October 6, 2022. Alleging that, the SJPNL declared the result of the technical evaluation within four days, without giving access to bidders, which is totally against the process.
He had added that thereafter the lowest bidder’s price, including Capex (Capital Expenditure) and O&M (Operation and Maintenance) costs, is nearly 33% higher than the department’s estimate of the project value.
The ultimate objective of the tendering exercise is to encourage competition and reduce cost, he reiterated. Since there was low participation in the 1st bidding call, i.e., two or less tenderers, tenders should be re-called” had Panwar stated in the mail.
No tender in the country has been decided in such a short span of time.” “Hence, awarding of the tender at this stage in such a hurry at the 1st call at such a high cost and in violation of the norms set by the Himachal Pradesh government itself is extremely unjustified and would be a heavy loss to the project, which is funded by the World Bank and the people of the state,” had alleged Tikender.
“I request you once again to take necessary action as it was the first call/and only two parties participating in this call cannot qualify for advancing the process. Fresh tenders may be called to save the state from such a big loss, ” concluded Panwar.
Empower Independent Journalism – Join Us Today!
We’re committed to unbiased, in-depth journalism that uncovers truth and gives voice to the unheard. To sustain our mission, we need your help. Your contribution, no matter the size, fuels our research, reporting, and impact.
Stand with us in preserving independent journalism’s integrity and transparency. Support free press, diverse perspectives, and informed democracy.
Click [here] to join and be part of this vital endeavour.
Thank you for valuing independent journalism.
Vishal Sarin, Editor