October 31, 2018: As the reports of alleged corruption in the construction of State’s lone fly-over started gathering dusts, Veteran CPIM leader and former PWD Minister Badal Choudhury strongly reacted over reports published in a section of media relating to gross corruption in the construction of flyover in Agartala. He ruled out any irregularities or malpractices in the construction. He assured normal procedures including pan-India tendering method were followed and conducted.
Addressing a press conference in Agartala today, Badal Choudhury clearly named institutions which were consulted at different stages of construction. He said, the State Government had consulted IIT-Delhi, NIT Agartala and other reputed institution for ensuring quality. “An engineering team sent by DoNER Ministry also inspected the quality and reported nothing wrong”, former Minister said.
“As provisions of e-tendering were not available in 2012 when the project was envisaged, the Government floated tenders through advertisements in local and national newspapers”, he said and added, seven national consultancy firms had participated in the tender.
Talking about DPR, Choudhury said, “The state government selected a Delhi based BKS Infrastructure Management company to prepare the DPR through national tender. Considering seismic zone of the State, the Company prepared a DPR of Rs 248 crore”. The DPR was sent to IIT-Delhi for verification and suggestions. Later, DPR was sent to the erstwhile Planning Commission and DoNER Ministry for final approval. “The DoNER Ministry sanctioned Rs 85.23 crore”, Badal Choudhury commented.
After DPR process was over, Badal Choudhury mentioned about processes followed by the State government for technical and financial bids. He said, Government floated another national open tendering process in 2012 and altogether 10 construction companies participated in technical bid. The state government constituted a committee headed by Sunil Bhowmik, the then Chief Engineer.
Choudhury said, three companies – L & T, Nagarjuna Construction Company (NCC) and ITCL participated in the financial bid. The lowest bid was given by NCC with Rs. 300 crore for construction of fly-over and subsequently state government selected NCC as per rules.
As per condition mentioned in technical bid, NCC formed a high power laboratory in Agartala for checking and monitoring quality of the materials and other related tests for construction. Quality testing processes went under observation NIT(Agartala), technical wing of Jadavpur University and IIT-Delhi.
Choudhury also referred to DoNER’s inspection after receiving a complaint. “An engineering team of DoNER and experts of CPWD verified the entire construction works, but no negative comments were made in their final report on construction”, said Cahudhury and added that nobody had ever complained on quality of the construction.
Dispelling apprehensions, Choudhury said, the Left Front Government completed the 95 % construction works of fly-over measuring 2.26 kilometers during their tenure without compromising quality.
“With full responsibility I can assure that there are no malpractices in the ambitious fly-over project of Agartala and for the interest of the state’s people the government should open the fly-over immediately with completion of remaining 5 per cent works”, Chaudhury asserted.