Staff Reporter

Several projects held up as contractors do not take up bids: Minister

Chief Minister to convene meeting soon

Minister says contractors’ stand justified

KASARAGOD: A meeting of the Ministers of Finance, Water Resources and Public Works would soon be convened by Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan to chalk out a strategy to solve the issue of contractors refusing to respond to tenders being floated by various departments because of low rates, Water Resources Minister N.K. Premachandran has said.

At a press conference here on Monday, Mr. Premachandran said that the opinion expressed by contractors that it was not viable to execute works as per the current rates fixed by the government in the context of escalation in the price of cement and steel, was true.

Escalating prices

The prices of cement and steel had steeply increased in the last one year. Besides this, the transportation charges had also rocketed. A realistic approach was needed in rate revision, the Minister said.

Reluctance of contractors to take works had affected the implementation of tsunami rehabilitation projects, works being executed with funds provided by the 12th Finance Commission, and Central schemes for the revival of the agricultural sector.

These works had to be completed within the fixed timeframe, failing which the funds would be lost.

The Minister revealed that the contractors were demanding tender excesses up to 90 per cent.

Survey planned

Referring to the efforts of the State government to ensure that all residents in the State had access to safe drinking water, the Minister said that the government would conduct a survey throughout the State to assess the quality of water in all water bodies, including wells and ponds.

On the construction of a dam across River Payaswini at Sullya in Karnataka, Mr. Premachandran said that he had conveyed his apprehensions on the issue to authorities in Karnataka.