Poll code violation: all tendersfloated after March 4 cancelled

The three-month period from March, crucial in the execution of Public Works Department (PWD) projects in the State, has been of minimal use due to the model code of conduct taking effect ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

The PWD was forced to cancel all tenders floated after March 4 as the poll dates were declared by the Election Commission of India (ECI). A directive was issued after the government came to know that tenders were being floated by the PWD even though the code of conduct was in force.

PWD barred

The PWD had also been barred from awarding contracts floated, official sources told The Hindu.

With this, the PWD would not be able to kick off new works relating to road, bridges, and buildings till May. The March-May period was ideal for taking up major works in view of the climate and closure of educational institutions for summer vacation, sources said.

The PWD had been asked to invite fresh tenders and bids only after April 10, the polling day, after seeking the concurrence of the government.

The directive would delay work on the Rs.5,581-crore monorail; the elevated MRTS in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode; the retendering of the remaining work on the NH 66 bypasses in Kollam and Alappuzha; and the Rs.5,100 crore State Road Improvement Project of 1200 km of major State and district roads initiated by the Road Infrastructure Company Kerala.

Ongoing work hit

The work on the Chengannur-Ettumanur stretch of MC Road, under the World Bank-aided Kerala State Transport Project II had also been hit. The retendering of the work in the stretch was on the basis of a recent directive of the World Bank to the State.

Confirming that all new works had come to a standstill, a top official said it was a blessing in disguise for the Finance Department which was facing a financial crisis.

Though tenders could be floated after April 10, the works could be awarded only after the poll process was completed, sources said. “The PWD will be able to complete the formalities of tender and award new works only by May end,” he added.