Coimbatore

Coimbatore Corporation issues notice to contractor over stalled multi-level parking lot project

Work remains suspended at the site to build a multi-level car parking facility on D.B. Road, Coimbatore

Work remains suspended at the site to build a multi-level car parking facility on D.B. Road, Coimbatore   | Photo Credit: M. PERIASAMY

The civic body is now considering floating a fresh tender for the project that is meant to de-congest D.B. Road in R.S. Puram

How to break the jinx, is perhaps what the Coimbatore Corporation is thinking of, as part of its plan to float a fresh tender to resume the construction of a multi-level car parking (MLCP) on D.B. Road in R.S. Puram.

The civic body is considering floating a fresh tender as the project is more or less stalled, says an officer on condition of anonymity. “Discussions are going on in this direction and it (Corporation) may soon take a decision to float the tender.”

The Corporation's likely decision to float a fresh tender comes after it issued two show-cause notices to the contractor asking for reasons for the tepid progress in the project, worth ₹40.78 crore.

The civic body awarded the contract sometime in the first quarter of 2019 to Annai Infra Developers Erode, to build the MLCP on a 60-cent ground within two years of awarding the contract. Thereafter, Municipal Administration Minister S.P. Velumani kick-started the work with a ground-breaking ceremony in March 2019.

The Corporation had asked the company to build the MLCP as a ground-plus-four-storey structure to accommodate 370 cars, to ease traffic congestion in R.S. Puram and D.B. Road, in particular. The Corporation had said that the MLCP would be a fully automated structure with elevators and shuttle and folly taking cars to parking lots and retrieving them between 60 and 90 seconds.

The Corporation had given the contract to the company with the condition that it would be responsible for defects and liabilities for a year after the completion of construction and maintenance for five years thereafter.

After starting the construction and completing part of the ground work, the contractor was unable to show satisfactory progress and that is the reason that the Corporation issued a show-cause notice, says the officer. And, after the first show-cause notice, the Corporation issued another one sometime ago seeking explanation for the delay. If the contractor does not respond within the stipulated time, the Corporation will have no choice but to cancel the contract after following the law and float a fresh tender, the officer adds.

The Corporation floating a fresh tender to restart the stalled work will be the latest in its chequered history to somehow build an MLCP in the city. The Corporation first floated the proposal to build not one but three or four MLCPs to de-congest the city. It first invited contractors with the condition that they will have to bear the cost of construction and then recover the investment by collecting parking fees. As the contractors felt that the model would force them to recover the investment after at least 20 years, none evinced interest.

The Corporation then changed the financial model saying it will invest upfront but the contractor will have to share a portion of the parking fees. After a long wait, it finally floated a tender and found successful bidders.

But now this set back has almost put Corporation back on square one, the officer adds.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2020 12:12:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/coimbatore-corporation-issues-notice-to-contractor-over-stalled-multi-level-parking-lot-project/article30585777.ece

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