Will Maha Tender system work for NMC or cripple the development?

NMC Building
As the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) was ‘forced’ to abandon the shabby e-tender process run on website www.nmctenders.com and embrace the www.mahatenders.gov.in website of Government Maharashtra for e-tender process from June 1, a debate is gaining steam. Will the www.mahatenders.gov.in website serve the avowed purpose? Will the change be of any utility in truant NMC? Will it boost development in city or cripple it? Or the ring of contractors and babus make mockery of the new e-tendering process by rigging the system with old tricks? The answers to these pointed questions would be found in the times to come.

In NMC, umpteen works (development) are done in shortest possible time. Tenders for all works are floated according to prevalent system and also according to demands. In such scenario, if a decision is arrived at to float tenders through Maharashtra Government system (www.mahatenders.gov.in) then the possibility of NMC Administration facing a flurry of problems could not be ruled out.

Knowledgeable sources stress that instead of adopting Maharashtra Government system, the NMC should set up a Tender Cell for development of city in a better way. At the same time, more importantly, the NMC Administration should first rid its Public Works Department of unscrupulous babus by transferring them to other departments as well as cancel the registration of ‘scandalous’ contractors. This stern initiative can only improve the messy situation and also help in the direction of turning the city a ‘Smart City.’

The NMC, still smarting under the sting it got hit by the dumping of Nagpur out from the list of ‘Smart City,’ surprisingly refuses to put its house in order and thus salvage the prestige. On the other hand the local body continues to be silent spectator to dubious affairs being run by equally dubious babus and a key contract, obviously hand in glove. Cancellation of registration of this key contractor, Vijay Naidu, is often being demanded by the Regional Secretary of Akhil Bharatiya Manavadhikar Nigrani Samiti Lalsingh Thakur through letters sent to Chief Minister.

According to Thakur, at the time of registration, the contractor is asked to furnish two names of his employees. But the contractor Vijay Naidu, during registration, audaciously mentioned names of two registered contractors themselves as his employees. And carrying out his ‘business’ in NMC with this scandalous act since years. Moreover, the babus of the PWD including Deputy Engineer D D Jambhulkar, despite knowing the ‘illegal act’ are clandestinely turning a blind eye and “supporting” the contractor.

The point in question is how the contractor, till now carrying out works in lakhs, suddenly started bagging works to the tune of crores. It was only after Nagpur Today started flashing damning reports and a video reaching the Mayor on uncanny auctioning of tenders, the “business” was curbed, hesitatingly.

Thakur, in letters sent to Chief Minister, has demanded the Municipal Commissioner to cancel the registration of this truant contractor Vijay Naidu for his ‘illegal act’ of showing two other registered contractors as his employees. Thakur has also sought suspension of guilty officials. Or else he will have no other option but to knock doors of courts and put the NMC in loss for its shabby affairs.

By Rajeev Ranjan Kushwaha (rajeev.nagpurtoday@gmail.com)