Another irregularity: How could tender bidder JMC Constructions be disqualified just because it had not started two awarded projects?
After TheBengaluruLive‘s exposé which forced BBMP to conduct a TVCC inquiry into how a Toyota Fortuner car could ‘change its spots’ and turn asphalt-carrying tipper so as to grab a Rs 270-crore pothole-filling tender, more skeletons have tumbled out. One such is that the successful bidder Dhananjay BS’s firm Nikshep Infra Projects was registered just a year ago in February 2020 and has, against all norms, become eligible to participate in a multi-crore tender.
Moreover, the role of the engineering wing is also under the scanner for disqualifying another contractor, A Mohan Narasimhulu (JMC Constructions Private Ltd), who had met 70% of the criteria but was disqualified because he had not undertaken the High Density Corridor project and the Jayamahal-Ballari Road widening project that had been awarded to him. Sources say that a tender-approving authority cannot disqualify a contractor just because he has not started a project awarded to him.
Read Here: Fortuner car turns ‘tipper’ to bag Rs 270-crore tender for pothole-filling in Bengaluru! https://thebengalurulive.com/fortuner-car-turns-tipper-to-bag-rs-270-crore-tender-for-pothole-filling-in-bengaluru/
As things stand in BBMP, the technical bid approval authority which is normally headed by a Chief Engineer (in this case, Road Infrastructure wing Chief Engineer BS Prahallad) takes a call on accepting or rejecting bidding documents. Chief Engineer Prahallad disqualified Mohan Narasimhulu, BB Umesha, Munivenkatappa Venkata Chalapathi and Satish S, while it accepted the bid of Dhananjaya BS (Nikshep Infra Projects).
If sources are to be believed, Mohan Narasimhulu of JMC Constructions will not be eligible even in the future to participate in any tender as the technical bid approval authority headed by Chief Engineer Prahallad has disqualified the company. Taking a cue from this, other engineers could disqualify the company in future too.
‘Rejected bidder can move court’
“An option before JMC Constructions is to challenge their disqualification before the judiciary. There might be many reasons why JMC did not take up the High Density Corridor project and the Jayamahal-Ballari road widening project. But only on this ground, any agency cannot be disqualified until and unless the agency is not financially sound to take up any projects in the city,” said an expert who is closely monitoring the developments.
Newbie company is successful bidder!
As per documents accessed by TheBengaluruLive, a partnership firm in the name of Nikshep Infra Projects had obtained a GST registration certificate on February 2, 2020 from Ramanganagar.
An expert said, “The partnership firm was registered just one year ago and, considering the terms and conditions of any government agency, cannot become eligible to grab a tender worth Rs 270 crore. There are a lot of suspicious acts that have taken place in this case and hence every engineer handling this tender is in the line of fire.”
We sought a reaction from winning bidder Dhananjay, but he did not respond to our WhatsApp message.
Intention to cheat BBMP?
Going by the documents submitted online to bag the tender, Nikshep Infra Projects had submitted the RC book of a Toyota Fortuner car, passing it off as a tipper — which can be easily called a fraudulent act.
BBMP should immediately file an FIR and blacklist the agency from participating in any future tender as the agency resorted to fraud to grab the pothole-filling tender, said another engineering expert.
Will TVCC conduct a fair inquiry?
Meanwhile, on Administrator Rakesh Singh’s directions, BBMP Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta has entrusted the inquiry to the TVCC head, Chief Engineer AB Doddaiah, who is known to be ‘close’ to many engineers in the Road Infrastructure wing. His role in the inquiry becomes vital as the tender file has already been cleared by both the Commissioner and the Administrator.
Read Here: Fortuner-turned-‘tipper’ scam: BBMP Administrator orders vigilance cell probe https://thebengalurulive.com/fortuner-turned-tipper-scam-bbmp-administrator-orders-vigilance-cell-probe/
It was the Administrator who acted on a small text message sent by TheBengaluruLive on Thursday morning pointing to how the Fortuner car had ‘turned’ tipper. Despite having approved the file on May 26 (he was not aware of the facts at that point), Rakesh Singh directed his team to stop further movement of the file and ordered Gaurav Gupta to conduct an inquiry. For the record, Gupta had approved the tender file despite a complaint received by his office on May 7.
Single Tender, inflated rates…
The rates for BM, DBM and BC as per issue rates of Jan 2021 with Area Weightage are as below.
BM – 5864.98 per cum
DBM -7292.80 per cum
BC – 7814.32 per cum
But the BBMP has considered with given some 5% weightage for air voids (there is no such scope in SR), and add another 5% for compaction factor make the inflated figure to as below
BM = 6562.91
DBM = 8160.64
BC = 9561.47
As actual against as shown above the difference per cum they have added for each items just to show that what agency has quoted is less percentage. By showing amount put to bid as high the quoted amount when compared with this amount of each items which is inflated then the TP comes less.
BM = 6562 – 5864 = 698
DBM = 8160 – 7292= 868
BC = 9561 – 7814 = 1747
So if this diefference is taken in to consideration the agency Percentage above the actual rates of mixes will go to 25% in each case
Where as in the BBMP note they have made it to 4.9% above etc by inflating the estimate — Just to bring agencies quote within 5% to get it approved, the engineers have added air voids, compaction factor etc which is not allowed in the Scheduled Rates.