The BBMP is planning to meet prospective bidders to understand their reluctance in accepting the project.

Smart City project No takers once again for Rs 50-cr KR Market revamp in Bengaluru
news Civic Issues Tuesday, July 02, 2019 - 15:27

Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike’s ambitious plan to renovate the garbage-strewn city market once again has no takers. For the second time, the BBMP floated tenders for the reconstruction of city market under the Smart City plan and not a single bidder has come forward to take up the project.

On March 9, the BBMP, floated tenders for the renovation of the city’s Krishna Rajendra Market. Two months after the tenders were floated, there was not a single bid, and the BBMP had to close the offer to accept bids. Again, on June 3, the BBMP floated tenders. The last date for submitting bids was June 27 and sources in the BBMP say that this time too, there was not a single bidder for the project.

Speaking to TNM, Chief Engineer of Bengaluru Smart City Limited (BenSCL) Suresh, says that the civic body and BenSCL have time and again faced reluctance of construction companies taking up the renovation of the market.

“In February this year, we had called for a pre bid meeting. BenSCL had identified contractors, who had prior experience in handling such projects. No one came for the pre bid meeting either. Since the pre bid meeting was inconclusive, we decided to go ahead and float the tender directly,” Suresh says.

With no takers for the project the second time around, the civic body is now planning to hold a consultation meeting with prospective contractors to understand their reluctance in accepting the project.

“Our original plan was to move the vendors in the ground floor of the market to the first and third floors while the construction was to take place. Convincing them is a challenge. Besides, building contractors are not willing to take up the risk of vendors running operations in the building while renovation work is happening at the same time,” a source in BenSCL said.

Another hinderance for builders is the lack of open space to store equipment. Construction companies, who had initially expressed interest in bidding, too withdrew their offers, CE Suresh says. “They have many logistical issues, which could lead to delaying construction work, if the project is taken up. This is one of the biggest issues. Another problem is difficulty in accommodating heavy equipment in narrow roads. Besides, since it is a heritage structure, the cost will also be more as the walls must be protected from damage,” he added.

Established in 1928, KR Market was India’s first area to get public street lights in 1972. Years of mismanagement and lack of efficient maintenance turned one of the city’s oldest markets into a garbage-strewn dump.

The proposed revamp of the market, estimated to cost Rs 50 crore, includes building new structures for vegetable vendors and restructuring the meat market by constructing stalls with facilities to dispose carcasses of animals and the waste generated efficiently.

The project will also have a new stormwater drain system, electrical supply lines, water supply lines, and also meet fire safety norms. Chief Engineer Suresh says that the existing market does not adhere to fire safety norms and is a threat to vendors and customers and the new plan intends to rectify the issue.

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