NMC laps on State “opportunity,” appoints consultant for AMRUT scheme sans tenders

The Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) which leaves no stone unturned to create a mess got another ‘opportunity’ when the State Government provided the civic body a deadline of mere 15 days for preparing detailed project report for water supply augmentation scheme under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT). Lapping on the ‘opportunity’ NMC appointed a popular consultant without floating tender.

Under AMRUT initiative, State Government has prepared annual action plan. Under the said action plan, Rs 223 crore have been sanctioned for water supply augmentation scheme for Nagpur city. Subsequently, State Government, in a letter dated June 24, 2016, asked NMC to prepare a detailed project report regarding no-networked areas (in case of water supply) within 15 days. Accordingly, a proposal was placed before Standing Committee and got it sanctioned in its meeting on Thursday. As per the proposal, Dinesh Rathi and Associates (DRA) — a popular consultant agency — has been appointed to prepare detailed project report without calling tender.

According to Chairman of Standing Committee Sudhir Raut, the time period of 15 days was very short and hence there was no time to complete tender process that would have consumed one month. But, then, the period of 15 days since June 24 was over on July 9. Asked about anomaly, he called Sanjay Gaikwad, Executive Engineer(Water Works). Gaikwad, is the same official who has applied for voluntary retirement, said that NMC received State Government’s letter on June 30. As there was no time, NMC decided to ask DRA and conducted negotiations on July 5. After negotiations, DRA agreed to work for 0.48 per cent of project cost.

Accordingly, NMC will pay DRA Rs 1.07 crore, he said. Asked why the specific consultant company was approached, Gaikwad said that DRA had huge data-base available with it as it had worked as project management consultant for various water supply schemes, storm water drainage system, and sewerage system for NMC as well as Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT), Gaikwad clarified.