Corporation may go for package tenders

S. Ganesan

To take up Rs.25-crore civic development programme The Corporation has proposed to take up as many as 218 works with the funds sanctioned under the Tamil Nadu Local Bodies Road Development Scheme 2005. The works can now be split into broad packages

TIRUCHI: Faced with the "intransigence" of contractors, who had stuck to their decision of boycotting its tenders, demanding a revision in rates for raw materials, the Tiruchi Corporation is mulling over the possibility of going for package tenders to woe major companies to take up the Rs.25-crore civic development programme.

Corporation sources indicated that this was one of the options that could come under serious consideration if the contractors failed to relent.

As of now, the immediate course of action would be to call for re-tenders.

If the contractors failed to respond again, the Corporation would have no option but to offer the tenders in packages so as to attract established companies, the sources said.

This, in effect, would mean the clubbing together of different types of works into separate packages to make for contracts of higher value.

The Corporation had proposed to take up as many as 218 works under the funds sanctioned under the Tamil Nadu Local Bodies Road Development Scheme 2005.

The works could now be split into broad packages.

All the 205 registered contractors of the Corporation desisted from participating in the tenders called for the project this week.

The civic body received only a couple of tenders for a few works.

On Thursday, talks between the City Engineer, V.Sivaraman, and the contractors failed to break the deadlock with both sides sticking to their respective positions.

Corporation officials contend that the demands of the contractors were "unreasonable," as the schedule of rates was fixed by the Government and the Corporation had no role in it.

Moreover, the Corporation had agreed to pay the current Highways prescribed rates for bitumen.

The rates offered at Coimbatore and other cities could not be compared to the situation in Tiruchi.

For instance, a much higher price was offered in Coimbatore for sand in view of the huge transportation costs involved. Sand was locally available here, it was pointed out.

Corporation officials say that going in for package tenders would lessen their headache and ensure quality of work, besides the main advantage of not having to depend on local contractors.

However, the process could take considerable time and remained to be seen whether it could be done before the notification of elections. Calling for re-tenders itself could take about a month's time.

Further, the move to go in for package tenders could run into opposition from members of the Corporation Council, who have come out strongly in support of local contractors on several occasions in the past.

Nevertheless, officials are hopeful of pushing through the process, as it was one of the single largest projects to be taken up by the Corporation that would bring significant improvement to the city's infrastructure.

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