Polavaram Retender: Govt. saves Rs. 628 crores 

Hyderabad, September 23: “Megha ‘ has become a blessing for the Andhra Pradesh government.  Megha Engineering and Infrastructures Limited (MEIL) came up with a proposal with 12.6 per cent less cost than an earlier contractor. The MEIL bid for the works for just Rs. 4358 crores. With this, the government can save Rs 628 crores, which is a huge amount to the exchequer. The AP government called for re-tender for hydel power plant and main concrete works worth Rs. 4987 crores. MEIL is the only company that took part in the bidding.  As soon as the court permits, Megha Engineering will able to begin the works at a rapid pace and complete the works within the stipulated period.

The state government cancelled the Polavaram contracts as part of reverse tendering and called back tenders. For the first time in the country, the preliminary quote by L-1 company is considered as base estimate cost. The previous government paid Rs. 2346 crores to build a hydropower station along with Polavaram Project. But, works were not taken up as much as it intended to do.  TDP leader Rayapati Sambasiva Rao’s company Transtroy, who has won the Polavaram construction contract in 2012, could not complete the work. The Chandrababu Naidu-led government has entrusted the works with subcontracting. With this, the works went on at a snail pace.

Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s government has abolished these works and called for reverse tenders for Polavaram Project headworks and hydropower station. The value of these works is Rs. 4987 crores. The Megha’s engineering company has only bid for these works. As against the government expectations, the MEIL has come up with12.6 per cent less Rs. 4358 crores to take up the works.  MEIL already constructed Pattiseema lift irrigation scheme in record time and also build world’s largest Kaleshwaram lift Irrigation project.  Megha Engineering is preparing to take up Polavaram construction work as soon as the government completes the required process to open a Polavaram bidding process. The company is determined to complete this multi-purpose project before the government’s deadline.

Polavaram Project is taken up to supply water for 7.2 lakh acres agricultural lands and to generate the 960 MW of Hydropower. Apart from this, 80 TMC water will be transferred to the Krishna River, above the Prakasam Barrage. About 23.44 TMC water for Visakhapatnam city drinking water requirement. About 28.5 lakh people living in 540 villages adjacent to the Polavaram Canal will also get the drinking water.  According to government estimates, the construction of the Polavaram Project should begin at the end of November and complete the works as rapidly as possible. Before that, the agreement with the contractor and judicial review must be completed. The process should be completed for another week by October 1st. The government is likely to carry out these measures as soon as the bidding is open.

The reverse tendering process undertaken by the government seems to be an easy way for the government and the contractors. In the past, when tenders were called, four to five companies were used to file the bids. It took a few weeks to ensure that the authorities looked at the technical qualifications presented by the contractors. Now the details of the reverse tendering process placed on the EPC website, and those who do not qualify will refuse by the system itself. At the same time, the contractor should submit a declaration that he has all the technical qualifications. The financial bids should be submitted after that. If the contractor submits any wrong certificates, the deposit money and bank guarantees will be taken by the government. For this reason, it is strongly argued that except Megha Engineering no company dare to submit tenders in the Polavaram re-tendering.

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