The issue of bagging contracts for amounts far less than specified in the tender notification was seriously debated at the Karnataka Development Programme meeting held here on Friday. The issue came up when infrastructure works being implemented by the Public Works Department (PWD) were taken up for review.
Minister for Medical Education Sharan Prakash Patil and Minister for Information Technology and Bio-Technology Priyank Kharge identified a number of works being implemented at up to 32 per cent less than the amount specified and expressed serious concerns over quality.
They expressed further discontentment when they were told that the Department was involving only the in-house quality control wing and not a third party for ensuring quality of works. “I don’t know what amount a successful bidder bagged a work for. I want the work completed as per the specifications detailed in the tender notification. I will get random quality checks done without anybody’s knowledge. If anything is found wrong and sub-standard, I will hold executive engineers responsible and take stringent action,” Mr. Patil warned.
He directed the officers to closely monitor such works and make payments only if quality work was done. “If low-amount bidders are forced to maintain quality, they will incur losses and thenceforth stop bidding for such amounts,” he said.
Mr. Priyank Kharge took an officer of Gulbarga Electricity Supply Company (Gescom) to task for not cooperating with PWD and Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department officials. “Despite repeated written and oral requests, you are not shifting electric poles wherever civil works such as road construction and road widening are to be taken up. Because of your lethargy, many works remain unfinished for a long time,” he said. He asked Chief Executive Officer Anirudh Sravan P. to send a list of pending pole-shifting works to Gescom and give a deadline to finish them.