Benchmarked standards to be followed in its preparation

A consultant has been selected for preparing the master plan for Visakhapatnam Metropolitan Region (VMR) comprising four districts after a rigorous process and benchmarking considered unique and exemplary.

According to VUDA Vice-Chairman Kona Sasidhar, a tough negotiation also saved VUDA considerable amount of money.

Only three of the 10 bids qualified for the initial screening. Of them, only one qualified in all aspects for considering technical and financial bids even as one opted out. A question arose as to whether the lone bid can be opened for awarding the work of preparing the master plan. When the State government’s clarification was sought, it replied that if it was reasonable it could be approved.

Mr. Sasidhar, however, urged the government to constitute a committee to benchmark the items that were listed in the request for proposal.

The benchmarking was followed and though the consultant initially quoted a higher amount it was finally agreed that the work would be taken up for Rs.12.8 crore saving nearly Rs.4.5 crore for VUDA. The selection of LEA Associates South Asia Private Limited and CEPT University, Ahmedabad, was approved by the recent VUDA board meeting.

Mr. Sasidhar said the proposal would now be sent to the government which after approval would issue a GO. Thereafter it would take one-and-a-half years for the preparation of the master plan that includes zoning, study of traffic, and land use.

Advice to UDAs

Mr. Sasidhar said for the first time benchmarking was done after going through the recent RFPs of Haryana, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Punjab. He said the credit would go to Chief Urban Planner R.J. Vidullatha and her team. Now the government was asking other UDAs to follow the VUDA model.

The Vice-Chairman said LEA Associates, preparing the master plan for Visakhapatnam-Kakinada Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemical Investment Region (PCPIR), had submitted the draft master plan and zonal development plan. They would be scrutinised and sent to the government which in turn would publish it inviting objections.

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