Poor response stalls stormwater drain work

Contractors unwilling to take up the ‘dirty’ work

Reluctance of contractors to take up the ‘dirty’ work remains an insurmountable issue for Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) in its project of widening stormwater drains/ nalas in the city. On some stretches, the corporation had to call for tenders 10 to 15 times, yet without any response.

Chief Engineer (Projects) R. Sreedhar, who spearheads the work of nala widening in the city, said this in response to a query at the GHMC General Body meeting on Saturday. While answering to a query raised by corporator V. Jagadeeshwar Goud, Mr. Sreedhar said even where there was response, the contractors were unable to complete the work as they could not retain the batches of labourers who were recruited to carry out the works.

Following a suggestion by the Minister for Municipal Administration & Urban Development K.T. Rama Rao during a review meeting, it was decided to explore the possibility of entrusting the works to SC/ST contractors trained by National Academy of Construction. The contractors, who were all engineers by profession, expressed willingness to take up the works, and requested for certain relaxations in terms of eligibility in order for them to participate in bidding.

Mr. Sreedhar also cited issues pertaining to shifting of utilities, public resistance, sewage flow in stormwater drains during dry weather, traffic restrictions, removal of sheet rock, lack of access for machinery, and others.

MLC M.S. Prabhakar objected to the idea of engaging SC/ST contractors when their counterparts from other castes were not willing to take up works, in nala widening project. He suggested the officials to find alternative solutions through automation.

Quite a few members raised alarm about the burgeoning mosquitoes in various localities across the city, and complained about insufficient fogging machines. Questions were also raised about long pending road widening works on two stretches near Charminar, as part of the pedestrianisation project.

The general body under the chairmanship of Deputy Mayor Baba Fasiuddin, observed two minutes silence in tribute to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee. A total of 42 resolutions pertaining to developmental works, along with seven additional agenda items were passed by the meeting. The special session scheduled for electing ward committee members had to be postponed due to lack of quorum.

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 10:22:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/poor-response-stalls-stormwater-drain-work/article24782411.ece

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