Thursday, January 14, 2010


Officials Give Big Push To Development To Beat Poll Code Of Conduct

Bangalore: BBMP officials worked overtime on Tuesday and Wednesday to give a big push to d eve l o p m e n t . Bang aloreans have to thank the BBMP elections for it. Keeping in mind that the election code of conduct comes into effect on January 15, officials cleared files on Wednesday, the last working day before the deadline.
The rush saw government pushing for an ordinance for Akrama-Sakrama, bureaucrats of various agencies being huddled in day-long meetings and the BBMP evaluating tenders for various road works (19 packages worth Rs 3,300 crore) till midnight on Tuesday.
The government decision on the crucial Bengaluru Region Governance Bill didn’t come in till late Wednesday evening. The only hope is a possible meeting with the chief minister on Thursday, say sources.
Going ahead with its Plan Bengaluru 2020, yet another ABIDe report will make its entry into the public domain on Thursday. Different from the earlier four reports, this document will include compilation of several chapters like water and sanitation, education and health. The 21 finalists for the Namma Bengaluru awards were also finalized at the jury meeting on Wednesday.
The Metro will not be affected by the code of conduct. According to BMRC officials: “It’s a project already approved by both the governments. Even the underground work will remain unaffected by the code of conduct. With tenders finalized, preliminary work on the East-West corridor has already begun. We had to reinvite tenders for the Majestic station. Work on the underground stretch will be in full swing by March-end. Work on alternative roads is in progress. However, to begin work on the high court side, we are waiting for the response from the high court committee constituted to look into it.”
The members of Civic Front stormed into the BBMP office and protested against e-tendering. The coalition of political parties like CPM, CPI and AIADMK accused the BBMP of clearing tenders worth over Rs 3,000 crore overnight on Tuesday in a very undemocratic process. BBMP councillors stayed on at office till the wee hours of Wednesday to clear all these tenders for developmental work, they alleged.
“The code of conduct will come into effect on January 15. Thursday is a holiday. So, Wednesday is the last working day for them. What was the hurry to finalize the tenders at midnight? It is an undemocratic process,” said Prakash K, district secretary, CPM.
“There is no substance to the allegations. We called for tenders on September 23, 2009, for roads and signal-free corridors — Rs 3,300 crore for 19 packages. Of the 21 persons, 20 qualified. So, on December 7, we offered them DPR documents to quote bids. December 29 was the last date but it was extended to January 8,” BBMP commissioner Bharat Lal Meena said.
“We again asked them to reload bids and provide all necessary documents for technical eligibility and financial bids. Tuesday was the last day to check them. The process was on since morning and continued till late night. No major decision was taken. We just opened the bids and read them,” Meena added.
Akrama-Sakrama still
awaits guv’s assent
There’s no end to the suspense over the Akrama-Sakrama ordinance (regularization of unauthorized properties by paying a penalty), which the state government was keen to issue before the BBMP poll code of conduct kicks in on January 15.
Governor H R Bhardwaj reportedly sought time to examine it. “The governor has to apply his mind to the provisions of the legislation. It cannot be signed in an hour’s time. At the same time, he is also aware of the impending BBMP elections,’’ sources said.
Transport minister and incharge of Bangalore Urban district R Ashoka met the governor late on Wednesday night to discuss the ordinance. Later, he said: “I apprised the governor that the legislation has been in limbo for the past five years. He assured he’d give his assent to the ordinance. We’re confident it will happen by Thursday.’’
In a statement, BBMP said no tenders were finalized For all basic amenities, BBMP had prepared a Rs 22,000-crore blueprint of projects and submitted it to government for approval To choose the right contractors through e-procurement, bids were called on September 23 On December 12, at a high-level committee meeting, the chief secretary recommended this project for approval On December 21, it was approved in principle On December 7, list of eligible contractors was released through eprocurement process Estimation list given for arterial and sub-arterial roads and seven signal-free corridors costing Rs 3,248 crore got government’s administrative approval On December 7, tenders for contractors were invited December 29 was the last day to submit the tender Due to technical reasons, tender was extended to January 8 Depending on corrections given on January 6, technical bids were scheduled for January 12 at 11 am, and monetary bids on the same day at 4.30 pm As there was a technical glitch, the bid was opened as per the Karnataka Transparency in Public Procurement Act Eligible tenders should be kept confidential under Chapter 6, Section 23 of KTPP Act Tender process is in progress and no tender has been finalized After evaluation of all tenders, approval has to be obtained from respective authorities


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