Even as Smart City Thiruvananthapuram Limited (SCTL) has decided to prematurely terminate the contract for project management consultancy with IPE Global Limited, the consultancy will continue to handle the works till the end of this month, until the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) takes over. The KIIFB will have the responsibility of the remaining works.
The move to terminate the consultancy's services had come as a surprise, as the SCTL had earlier this year decided to extend the contract till May 2023. However, the 20th and 21st Board of Directors meeting of SCTL had decided to prematurely terminate the contract extension period provided to IPE Global and handover the consultancy responsibility of balance works to KIIFB.
According to Corporation officials, the company was not prompt in providing regular updates on the progress of the various projects. Another reason being cited is that much of the work requiring the services of a consultant are currently over. The remaining work, including the preparation of revised estimates, can be handled even by the Corporation's own engineering department.
KIIFB had also been initially reluctant to take up the consultancy work, as the work is more than halfway through. Now, IPE Global has been requested to continue its services until KIIFB deploys dedicated team to SCTL. The consultancy has also been requested to engage a Nodal Officer from KIIFB to discuss the other modalities of the contract so that the remaining works can be executed by the KIIFB team.
It has also been decided that the Kerala Road Fund Board would continue to implement the Smart Road works, which has been delayed due to issues related to contractors and sub-contractors. There has been a debate on whether the SCTL, which is implementing a part of the Smart Road projects, should directly handle all of the Smart Road works. However, it has now been decided that the KRFB would continue to be the implementing agency for roads coming under its control.