SMC Shelves Rs 8 Crore Project Over Internal Tussle

Srinagar: Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) has shelved rupees eight crore project that was aimed to generate employment in Srinagar city after the qualifying agency refused to fall into line of Financial Advisor Chief Accounts officer (FACAO) & Chief Sanitation officer (CSO) of the corporation.

Sources said that last year in March the SMC invited tenders from interested agencies/ organisations for the project which was aimed to create job opportunities for at least 300 unemployed youths. The tender was invited for the outsourcing of manpower of the Corporation, but surprisingly the project is still in abeyance.

Sources said, after receiving poor performance from agencies due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic the tender was extended four times and finally it was published in July 2020 through a notification vide SMC no. SMC/PS/COM/7/2020.

“Three among five agencies which were selected through an e-tendering notice published in March 2021, two were dropped for lacking technical eligibility. Subsequently, a financial bid was opened and selectees were asked to present Powerpoint Presentation (PPT). All the three technically qualified agencies presented the PPT and SMC set up contract committee which went ahead with a final evaluation of the proposals and quoted rates,” sources said.

Finally, the committee concluded that one of the participant agencies namely All India Institute of Local Self Government (AIILSG) qualified for the tender and the committee submitted its final report to the ex-Commissioner of the corporation after fulfilling all the required formalities.

Sources further said that the Financial Advisor/Chief Accounts officer (FACAO) and Chief Sanitation officer (CSO) communicated verbally to the qualified agency several times to come for negotiations. However, in turn, the concerned agency asked SMC officers to communicate with them officially. Moreover, the agency has not till date received any official communiqué in this regard from the Corporation instead were called by FACAO for negotiation before issuing the Letter of Authority/Intent.

“The delay was caused as the concerned officials were expecting some favour before allotment of tender. FACAO had called the qualified agency AIILSG to his office and was asked to share the contract on a 50/50 basis with the other bidder namely Kuchay Traders to which the qualified agency rightly refused and the project was shelved,” sources added. (KDC)

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