Girish S. Pattanashetty

Signs memorandums of understanding with engineering colleges

MoUs signed with BVB College of Engineering and Technology, SDM College of Engineering and Technology came into force from April 1 Third party inspection to be done of works for which bills are pending Contractors to be blacklisted if the work is found to be of inferior quality

HUBLI: In what may be termed as a move to sever the nexus among some officials, contractors and a few council members, the Hubli-Dharwad Municipal Corporation (HDMC) has entered into memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with two colleges for carrying out third party inspection of development works carried out by contractors.

There have been allegations that most of the development works carried out by contractors were sub-standard.

The MoUs signed by the HDMC with BVB College of Engineering and Technology, Hubli, and SDM College of Engineering and Technology, Dharwad, which have come into force from April 1, 2006, will enable the corporation to get a random inspection of works entrusted to a contractor done by these colleges.

According to the terms of the MoU, the third party [the colleges] will have to inspect the site before the commencement of the work, during its execution and after its successful completion.

The corporation would provide copies of the sanctioned estimates and tenders well in advance to the inspecting agency and the third party shall certify the works with regard to its quality and quantity.

The corporation will have third party inspection done of works executed so far, for which the bills are pending.

P. Manivannan, Commissioner of the HDMC, told The Hindu that after the third party inspection if the work is found to be of inferior quality, steps would be taken to blacklist the contractor.

He said he prefers third party inspection as it would give chance for an objective analysis of the procedures of the corporation such as preparing the estimate and so on. "Ultimately the objective of the move is to see to it that quality is maintained," he said.

The move has created anxiety among contractors. The initial opposition from the HDMC Contractors' Association, which was expressed through a letter to the Commissioner, was an indication of the same.

The association went to the extent of saying that its members would continue executing the present works entrusted to them only if certain conditions are met regarding third party inspection.

The corporation has told them that it reserves the right to carry out random inspection of works executed through a third party and there is no going back on the issue.

It even held discussion with the office-bearers of the Association to make things clear, following which now the association seems to have given up its opposition.