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HomeEquipmentEquipment NewsBMC to spend Rs 6,080 crore to concrete 400km of roads

BMC to spend Rs 6,080 crore to concrete 400km of roads

Will Mumbai finally get rid of its pathetic potholed roads in the next couple of years? In the biggest-ever civic contract to concrete 400km of road for Rs 6,080 crore, the BMC has finalised five big construction firms experienced in national highway construction to execute the work and has weeded out small road contractors.

In the biggest-ever civic contract to concrete 400km of road for Rs 6,080 crore, the BMC has finalised five big construction firms experienced in national highway construction to execute the work and has weeded out small road contractors.

For the first time, BMC has laid some of the most stringent conditions on the road contractors, who will have to maintain these roads for ten years.

In a first for the city’s road works, firms which have built national highways have been selected for concreting 400 km of roads. “The letters of intent will be issued to them next week,” said municipal commissioner Iqbal Chahal, who credited chief minister Eknath Shinde and deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis for their “vision” to make Mumbai “pothole free”.

TOI has learned that the two-year road concreting mega-contract is expected to be awarded to Nagarjuna Construction Company, Eagle Infra India, Roadways Solutions India, Megha Engineers & Infrastructure, and Dineshchandra Agrawal Infracon.

Chahal said that later in March another tender to concrete 375km will be floated. “This will be the last tender for cement-concrete roads. With this, the entire 2,000km road network in Mumbai will be fully concreted,” he said.

Cement-concrete roads are meant to last 25 years. To ensure good quality, high-definition CCTV cameras will be installed (connected to BMC servers) for round-the-clock monitoring of the roads.

Sixteen firms bid for five contracts to cement-concrete roads in the island city and eastern and western suburbs, out of which five have been picked. The western suburbs have been allotted the largest chunk with three contracts amounting to Rs 4,000 crore. In the eastern suburbs, the contract is worth Rs 846 crore while in the island city, it is pegged at Rs 1,234 crore.

Ulhas Mahale, deputy municipal commissioner (infrastructure), told TOI that they plan to issue work orders in three weeks. “Work can start immediately after that,” he said.
The civic administration has appointed a full-time quality management monitoring assurance agency (QMA) which will supervise the road works. “QMA and BMC staff will be deployed at various plants and material sources at the time of procuring the material to ensure proper quality as and when required,” it said.

These firms will not be allowed to form joint ventures with other companies.

“It is observed that smaller contractual firms come together and qualify for these works and then the desired expertise in work and quality is not achieved. Therefore, joint ventures (JV) will not be allowed for this work and consortiums will not be allowed,” said the BMC’s tender criteria to ensure quality.

“Similarly, sub-letting will strictly not be allowed. Payments made for manpower/material/machinery shall be payable by the bidding agency. If it is proved otherwise, stringent action will be taken against the bidding agency.”

“The BMC will 100% audit the compliance of the above condition by checking all the invoices every year. All the invoices shall be properly maintained by the main contractor. If in audit reports, the invoices are not found in the name of the main contractor the payment made shall be recovered and two times the value of such payment made will be recovered as penalty,” it said.

The contractor will also not be allowed to subcontract the work. “If a contractor is found to be subletting any work other than unskilled labour contracts, the contract of such bid will be terminated and the main contractor as well as sublet contractor shall be blacklisted for three years from bidding in the BMC,” it said.

For three decades, the BMC was frequently accused of encouraging little-known firms to grab lucrative road repairs and concreting projects with little accountability or transparency. The work was generally found to be shoddy with new roads cracking and developing potholes after the first heavy monsoon showers. In the past, there have been allegations of road contractors forming cartels to quote ridiculously prices below the official estimate to bag the contracts. Later, these contractors cut corners and allegedly used inferior quality material to build the roads.

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