The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has decided to dump the Public, Private & Partnership (PPP) and the Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) model for constructing new Foot over Bridges (FoB).
About a dozen FoBs were built in different parts of the twin cities through these modes earlier under the ‘Fund Your City’ campaign. But, over the last four years there have been no takers for constructing these structures as agencies which bagged the contracts had beaten a hasty retreat.
With businesses and economy starring down the barrel, the agencies which were to build as many as 18 FoBs have not bothered to erect after getting the contracts, having quoted steep rates as advertisement fee.
The FoB at NMDC crossroads enroute to Mehdipatnam is the only new one. It too ran into problems when senior municipal officials demanded the height be scaled down as it looked more like an advertisement structure than being put for pedestrians safety in crossing the road.
Additional Commissioner (Advertisements) D. Jayaraj Kennedy said the agency has been asked to scale down the size of hoarding to be put up and also stick to its contract of installing escalators and elevators.
“It is better if GHMC builds FoBs on its own rather than through the PPP/BOT mode. Instead of looking at it as a revenue generating model where agencies make money through advertisements, our priority should be building facilities for pedestrians with our own funds,” he averred.
That’s a significant observation as some say FoBs began to face hurdles when the bidding rules were changed. “An open-ended bidding process where agencies were chosen on predetermined sites and less BOT tenure quoted was inexplicably changed to a closed tender high revenue model leading to the present situation,” says an agency head, involved in the initial bidding.
FoBs at Begumpet, Rasoolpura, L.V.Prasad Eye Institute, Dilsukhnagar, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan (Jubilee Hills), NTR Ghat, Khairatabad, Ameerpet and Shaikpet were cleared in the first method even when sites were changed.
But, a tender called for choosing the best FoB design for the proposed 12 new ones did not elicit any response so an expression of interest inviting quotations for fresh designs is being readied, said Venkataramana, Executive Engineer (Projects).