Kerala

Smart City hits a roadbloack

Selection process of the management consultancy for the implementation of the city Corporation’s Smart City project has hit an unexpected roadblock, with the company that was tipped to be selected after the opening of the financial bids was found to have been blacklisted in Assam.

Wadia Engineering Services Ltd. appeared to be leading the race to be chosen as the consultant after the financial bids were opened last month.

It had scored the highest marks in the technical bid stage and quoted the lowest amount in the financial bid stage, which made it a clear contender, above the other two companies — Mahindra Consulting Engineers Ltd. and IPE Global Ltd.

But, it was found that Wadia Engineering was blacklisted by the Assam government in December 2017, on allegations of forgery involving a project to connect the river island Majuli with Jorhat and Lakhimpur through a bridge.

Non-performance

The Public Works Department (NH) of Assam had also terminated the company’s contract on the ground of non-performance.

A meeting of the Smart City Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) was convened on Wednesday to take a final decision on the consultancy.

But, in light of the company’s blacklisting in Assam, it was decided to write to the Assam government to know more details about its police inquiry and to seek an explanation from the company regarding the blacklisting.

The company was blacklisted in Assam only after the bidding process for the Smart City consultancy here began.

Bridge construction

The Assam government had, in January 2017, awarded a contract to Wadia Engineering and South Korean company Yooshin Engineering Corporation of South Korea to carry out a survey to prepare a Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the bridge project. However, Wadia Engineering could not make any headway towards the preparation of the DPR.

Also, Yooshin Engineering Corporation alleged that Wadia Engineering had forged its signature to show its participation in the project.

In addition to cancellation of the contract and blacklisting, the Public Works Department had also filed a complaint against the company with the Chandmari police station to inquire into the forgery case. A fresh tender was also floated for the project.


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Printable version | May 19, 2022 5:27:51 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/smart-city-hits-a-roadbloack/article22683282.ece