Directs municipal commissioner to award contracts to the eligible lowest bidder
Geetanjali Minhas | May 5, 2022 | Mumbai
The Supreme Court has directed the BrihanMumbai municipal corporation (BMC) to award the contracts for Mumbai’s sewerage treatment plants (STPs) to the eligible lowest bidder before May 31, 2022.
The BMC has been trying to set up STPs at seven locations – Worli (500 MLD), Bandra (360 (MLD), Malad (454 MLD), Ghatkopar (337 MLD), Dharavi (418 MLD), Bhandup (215 MLD) and Versova (180 MLD) – at a cost of nearly Rs 26,000 crore.
The BMC's plan to upgrade and rebuild completely the STPs is part of Mumbai Sewerage disposal project II (MSDP). For around 15 years the project has been stuck in red tape, cost escalations and allegations of irregularities.
Earlier, the SC in its order dated February 24, 2022 on Civil Appeal No. 5036 of 2019 had directed the Mumbai municipal commissioner, IS Chahal, to float and process the tenders and to apprise the court of steps that have been taken and to report before it on May 4, 2022.
On Wednesday, the court directed the municipal commissioner to personally monitor the progress of the tender process so as to obviate any bottlenecks in the decision-making process. The apex court also said that in the event that any party or bidder has any objection whatsoever to the tendering process such objections shall be raised before the SC only and no other court.
“Such a direction was passed in order to obviate any further delay by the grant of stays or injunctions by any other court to impede the process of inviting bids for the setting up of STPs which are crucial to the environmental well-being of Greater Mumbai,” a statement from BMC said.
Between February and April 2022, the BMC received three bids each for the STP in Dharavi, Bandra and Ghatkopar, four for Versova, two each for Worli and Malad and seven for Bhandup.
On Monday, Chahal in an affidavit filed before the SC, submitted all details of the tendering process and the lowest bids received for each of the seven STPs for approval.
The SC in its hearing on Wednesday, while praising work done by the BMC in a short span of time directed the commissioner to award the tender to the eligible lowest bidder before May 31. The SC has directed that further action in this matter before the end of May 2022 and kept the next hearing in July 2022 to monitor the progress of the seven STPs in Mumbai.
“BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation is extremely thankful and indebted to the Hon’ble Supreme Court for the directions and timely guidance because of which the tendering process could be completed in a very short time period. After completion of these seven STPs in Mumbai, not only 2464 million litres (MLD) of sewerage water per day will be recycled for reuse but also the critical issue of environmental degradation will get addressed,” the BMC said.
Earlier the BMC had formed three committees with technical and financial experts to study technical proposals and do a complete cost analysis including rate analysis to arrive at reasonable rates.
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