For the third time in a row, the BMC
has received bids that are 35-40% lower than the estimates for a Rs 40 crore tender for yearly maintenance of approximately 400 parks and gardens. The low bidding hasn't gone down well with the corporators, who are sceptical that the contractors will be able to complete quality work within the timeframes specified. Given the concerns, the civic body has sent the bids to the accounts department to determine whether satisfactory work can be completed with the proposed bids, according to a civic official.
Last year, the BMC postponed tenders for park and garden maintenance for a year after contractors submitted bids that were more than 40% lower than the estimated cost. Furthermore, their security deposits were returned, and contracts were re-tendered. Despite the action, they continued to bid 35-40% lower than the estimates. As a result, the BMC was forced to award the Rs 50 crore contract to the same contractors.
Ravi Raja, a former BMC opposition leader and senior Congress leader, stated, "If the bids are so low, the quality of the work will suffer. Last year, the bids were also 40% lower than the estimated cost. Nonetheless, the same contractors were awarded the contract. The gardens are in disrepair due to a lack of maintenance. As a result, supervision and proper quality checks are required." According to BMC garden superintendent Jitendra Pardeshi, no decision on the tender has been made yet.
Meanwhile, monthly contractors are appointed to maintain the gardens in wards where the current contract period has expired. The contractor's responsibilities include security, appointing gardeners, pruning overgrown trees and grass, maintaining any walkways, and watering plants. The BMC owns 1,052 open plots totalling 1,200 acres in the city.