The Andhra Pradesh Transport Department on Saturday said that it will call for fresh tenders of 13 projects in a bid to demonstrate "crystal clear transparency" in governance. "Like never before, in order to demonstrate how transparent the present day administration in the state is, the transport department of the Andhra Pradesh government has decided to call for fresh tenders pertaining to a total of 13 packages," said an official.
Roads and Buildings Principal Secretary MT Krishna Babu said the Chief Minister was very clear that the system was not only transparent but also the stakeholders should feel the same. "Therefore, as one section of the media raised certain doubts about the process, we have decided to call for fresh tenders," said Babu.
However, he has highlighted that no single stakeholder had raised any complaint about the process. Babu said the government believes in transparency and will continue to do so in all its processes.
The Jagan Mohan Reddy government had proposed to take up road development works worth Rs 6,400 crore in the state with a 70% loan from the New Development Bank (NDB). In the first phase, tenders were invited for works in 13 packages with an estimated cost of Rs 2,978 crore. In the 13 districts in the state, a total of 25 bids were received for the works.
As per the agreement, the state government was required to complete award of at least 30% of works by September 30, failing which the NDB could withdraw the loan. Krishna Babu told reporters that they have now requested the Centre to extend the September 30 deadline by another 45 days. "We have apprised the Centre about the circumstances in which we took the decision. They have agreed to give us extra time but asked to complete the process fast," Babu said.
Meanwhile, Babu admitted that the tenders had attracted very less response though many players were eligible.
"We did observe that the response has been pretty low though a lot of companies, both in India and abroad satisfy the eligibility criteria," he said.
Babu said the department will now actively reach out to all the eligible companies and encourage them to bid for the tenders, even as it investigates as to why they did not attract much response in the first place.
Since Jagan Mohan Reddy came to power in Andhra, the state government has called for fresh tenders for various projects which were taken up under the previous Telugu Desam Party (TDP) regime, alleging that there were discrepancies in the projects, which hurt the state's interests.