Apparently incensed by a firm that backed out of a beach-cleaning contract in the eleventh hour, leaving it scrambling for a replacement, the BMC will be putting on its blacklist. The civic body appoints contractors to maintain major beaches, including at Juhu, Versova, Girgaum and Dadar.
Officials said M/s Vishal Protection had been shortlisted after the tendering process for a Rs. 11.82-crore, six-year contract to clean Dadar beach. A contractor has been brought in on a temporary basis, and the search is on for a permanent one, they added.
Vishwas Shankarwar, Deputy Municipal Commissioner (SWM), said, “We have forfeited [Vishal Protection’s] deposit and are blacklisting that company. Meanwhile, tenders have been re-invited and we have received bids. Scrutiny of bids is underway.” A department official said, “We decided on a temporary contractor till August.”
The proposal to blacklist Vishal Protection is being vetted by the BMC’s legal departmen, based on which the contractor will be issued a notice.
This is the first time a contractor is being blacklisted for backing out at the last minute, officials said, adding the new proposal will be presented to the Standing Committee in August.
Civic officials said the contract for cleaning Dadar beach had expired in the first week of June, and fresh bids had been invited by the Solid Waste Management (SWM) department. Vishal Protection, which bid successfully for the contract, had also paid a deposit as per rules. Based on this, the proposal had been placed before the civic Standing Committee. Faced with huge amounts of trash on beaches, the BMC has recently appointed a new contractor to clean Juhu and Versova beaches. More labour has been provided to the contractor as well.
Officials said before the Standing Committee could take a call, the contractor backed out citing high cost of labour, fuel and steep taxes, which would make it unviable for him. Forced to withdraw the proposal, the department has gone into a tizzy as fixing an new contractor would take months. The city’s beaches are already awash with garbage thrown back by the rain-swollen high tide. Tonnes of trash are being cleared by the BMC from Dadar Chowpatty and Mahim beach alone, which have seen citizen-led clean-up initiatives.
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