The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday stayed the process of awarding tender for the formation of roads at a cost of several hundreds of crores of rupees in the litigious Nadaprabhu Kempegowda Layout in Bangalore.

A Division Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice K. Sreedhar Rao and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer passed the interim order on a public interest litigation (PIL) petition, which complained that tender is being awarded for an exorbitant amount than the estimated figure mentioned in the tender document issued by the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA).

Petitioner V. Manjunath questioned the process of awarding contract for the formation of roads in the entire layout when acquisition of several hundreds of acres of the total 4,043 acres notified for the layout is itself pending for adjudication before the High Court. Only 1,356 acres are available for executing the project at present but tender was for the entire layout, the petition said.

The petitioner pointed out that the BDA had estimated the value of the work of forming roads to be around Rs. 991 crore.

However, the BDA, during negotiations with the three prequalified bidders from Andhra Pradesh — NCC Ltd, Madhucon Pvt Ltd and BSCPL Infrastructure Ltd — agreed to increase the cost of forming roads to Rs. 2200.14 crore, it has been claimed in the petition while alleging that the cost has been escalated due to pressure from influential politicians who are favouring a cartel of the contractors.

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