The HC observed that terms of the tender were in violation of the Karnataka Transparency in Public Procurement (KTPP) Act.

Another BBMP scam Ktaka HC cancels tender awarded by civic body for waste management
news Civic Issues Friday, August 03, 2018 - 19:42

The Karnataka High Court on Thursday cancelled a short-term tender called by Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) on grounds of anti-transparency, while hearing a petition by a prospective bidder Chamundi Motors and others. 

The HC observed that terms of the tender were in violation of the Karnataka Transparency in Public Procurement (KTPP) Act.

The tender was floated in January by the Solid Waste Management department to procure 565 auto-tippers for door-to-door garbage collection. While a general tender invites application for 60 days, the BBMP had called it for 30 days.

ReadThis is not fiction: BBMP has lost 100 garbage compactors, each with 10 tonne capacity

Nityananda Naik, counsel of the petitioner, told TNM, “Emergency situations call for short-term tenders whereas here, the funds for hiring these auto-tippers were granted in 2016 but all of a sudden in 2018 they called a short-term tender. The BBMP was questioned by the state government twice. However, instead of giving clarification to the government, the Executive Engineer (Hemalatha) went ahead and issued the tender with permission from Joint Commissioner (Sarfaraz Khan) and Commissioner (Manjunath Prasad) on January 4. This is a clear violation. The superior officers should have applied their mind. The court has perused all these things including that micro-plans for the usage of these vehicles were not prepared before going for the tendering process.”

He added, "The court taking exception to the whole process, orally observed that the BBMP rather than solving is only adding to the existing problem with regards to garbage." 

Also readNo pay for 6 months: Why Bengaluru's civic workers are being denied salaries

The petitioner also told the court how in order to favour a particular contractor while hiring mechanical sweepers, the BBMP deemed an unqualified tender as a legal tender. 

Incidentally, the company which was awarded the tender was the only company passing the technical tender and was blacklisted by the Delhi Municipal Corporation. According to  KTPP Act, in case of a single bidder, the tender has to be reissued. 

"But BBMP said they would consider the disqualified bids also as a legit bid on paper. To this, the judge wondered, ’higu unte' (Is this really possible?)" Nityananda added. 

Kathyayini Chamaraj, Executive Trustee of activist group CIVIC and solid waste management activist is not surprised by these developments.

“The entire garbage management is full of corruption. As we know, there is a garbage mafia controlling the entire thing. They may have given a short notice for the tender because they wanted to favour some particular person,” she commented.

Kathyayini has also conducted workshops related to ward-level waste management as mandated by the Karnataka High Court, in connection with a case related to solid waste management in the city.

She added that the BBMP is not following court orders with regard to ensuring that ward-level segregation takes places, nor are BBMP officials calling ward committee meetings on waste management.