De-silting work in three GHMC circles has lukewarm response

There is often no response to call for tenders, say officials

Three circles of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation have become a thorn in the flesh for the civic body, when it comes to de-silting of storm water drains, as there is often no response to tender calls.

Though it has been difficult to find contractors to do the work in Secunderabad and Khairatabad zones, which are thickly populated, the problem is more severe in three circles, namely Yousufguda, Musheerabad and Amberpet, where even recently, tenders had to be called a second time, after the first round failed to evoke any enthusiasm.

“Sometimes, we are forced to call for tenders up to seven times,” said an official, attributing the problem to a criminal case GHMC had filed sometime ago against the contractor for resorting to unethical practices.

According to information shared by officials, the contractor had, three to four years ago, registered the number of a two-wheeler in place of the vehicle used to transport the silt.

“Usually, contractors taking up de-silting works are men of fewer means and unless they finish one job successfully and draw payment thereof, they cannot take up another work,” the official said.

The contractor in question could not draw his payment for the year and was slapped with a case, and hence, stopped responding to the tenders. De-silting being a work that involves intensive manual labour inside the dirty nalas, there are usually not many contractors vying for it.

“We need to call them and convince them to file tenders. Getting labour for the work too is very difficult, and needs two times the usual payment. But, our hands are tied as we have to pay only according to rates approved by the Engineers Board,” the official said.

As the Khairatabad and Secunderabad zones are thickly constructed, getting vehicles to manoeuvre through the streets up to the de-silting points too is difficult. Often, labourers are forced to carry the silt manually, which makes the job all the more unattractive.

GHMC has allocated ₹38 crore for the de-silting works across the zones, with the mandate to complete them before May 31. However, this was only in view of monsoons ahead, and the contracts awarded are for the whole year, officials say.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2020 9:20:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/de-silting-work-in-three-ghmc-circles-has-lukewarm-response/article27142583.ece

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