With an aim of developing the city, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) was seen putting rigorous efforts into their most ambitious project which is uninterrupted water supply for 24 hours 7 days a week.
But little did they know that the cost that has been estimated will reach to levels that one had never imagined.
The challenge left the civic body in a conundrum - they are figuring out whether to include the extra Rs 457 crores in its loan amount or pay from its own coffers.
The total cost of the project is around Rs 3,313 crore, of which PMC has floated tenders for Rs 1,716 crores of work.
Talking in detail about this, V G Kulkarni, Chief Superintendent of PMC’s Water Supply Department, said,
We had divided work into four divisions to make it simpler and estimated the cost at Rs 1,716 crore. However, the three companies quoted Rs 2173.8 crore, around 26 per cent more. The tender has not been approved yet, it is still under discussion. We may take a loan from private bonds of Rs 2,264 crore. The remaining amount will be raised by the corporation (Rs 750 crore) and the state government (Rs 300 crore). But, no decision has been taken yet. There may be change in the loan component.
Sharing more information on the water project, a senior official from the same department (name not revealed), said,
We have written to the firms, asking for the reason for this escalation of cost. If we don’t get an appropriate reason, we will have to re-tender the work as PMC cannot afford so much. As per market rates, the work tender should have come below the estimated amount due to a slowdown.
The overall work scenario is as follows-
- Installing meters;
- Creating infrastructure and maintaining it for 10 years;
- The deadline for completion of the project is five years after the immediate start of the work.
Thinking this to be an alleged conspiracy between the contractors and the Congress party, Senior Corporator Arvind Shinde said,
How can all the companies have quoted an amount of 26 per cent above the estimated cost. They have clearly colluded and cooked up a scheme.
Ulka Kalaskar, Chief Accountant of PMC said,
The state government has approved a loan of Rs 2,264 crores for the water project. If we have to take an increased loan amount, we will have to take permission from the state. And, if the state does not agree, PMC will have to bear the extra cost.
Information source: punemirror