Kashmir Indepth

Govt Deptts invite e-tenders for works amid lockdown, contractors smell ‘fishy’

Will look into the matter: Govt

Ishtiyaq Ahmad

Srinagar, April 13 (KINS): Amid COVID-19 scare and low internet speed, government departments in Jammu and Kashmir have been seeking e-tenders for hundreds of developmental works in the Union Territory.

Entire world is under lockdown and government is asking people to stay inside doors to contain COVID-19.

Surprisingly, government departments have invited hundreds of e-tenders for last around one month even as there is complete lockdown in Kashmir. Contractors have raised questions whether there will be “transparency” in the process when they won’t be able to upload tender documents.

As per the details available with Kashmir Indepth News Service (KINS), Public Works Department has invited over 70 e-tenders since March 17 including for upgradation of sub health centres and construction of footpaths.

The Power Development Department has also invited over 70 e-tenders since March 15, including works related to stabilization of high tension lines and renovation of sub-stations.

Housing and Urban Development Department has invited around 100 e-tenders since March 15. Tenders have been sought for construction works like upgradation of lane from graveyard upto Bhat Mohalla near Masjid Hanfia at Solinapayeen, construction of concrete cement drain from main road Masjid Zehar Bemina Chowk, construction of lanes at Koolipora Bemina, Goripora Bemina, construction of cement concrete protection wall on foot bridge upto Janded Khan at Baghemehtab, upgradation of lane at Baghe Mehtab, annual maintenance contract for two Nos of weed harvesters and two number of weed transport barges.

Similarly, Irrigation and Flood Control Department has also invited e-tenders for 150 works in the last one month for clearance of silt, construction of concrete cement channel and other works.

SICOP has invited e-tender for hiring of consultancy for implementation of BRAP and district BRAP.

Other departments including Health and Medical Education, Finance Department, universities, Estates Department have also invited several e-tenders since lockdown was announced.

JKCC North Kashmir president Showkat Teli, questioned departments’ decision of inviting e-tenders amid lockdown. “Entire Kashmir is under lockdown. How is it possible to submit the documents? There seems something fishy to invite e-tenders when there is lockdown,” he told KINS over phone.

Chairman J&K Contractors Coordination Committee (JKCCC) Ghulam Jeelani  Burza said, “It is an awful act to see how terrible actions these HODs are doing by uploading new tenders in such a movement where there is nationwide lockdown. If our administration is requesting to all residents of the valley to cooperate and stay inside in our homes, why are they uploading tenders?” he asked.

He said there are 100s of tenders present on the website and still they are uploading more. “How is it possible for contractors’ fraternity to come outside and prepare those documents which a tender needs? How it is possible to reach treasuries, banks, Internet cafe’s to submit our tenders.  Rather than development works human lives are precious. We request our LG administration kindly take a view regard this issue,” he told KINS.

Meanwhile, a Commissioner Secretary level officer in the government told KINS that the government will look into the matter. “We will check that if any department had floated the tender during the lockdown and accordingly will direct departments not to invite any tenders till lockdown is over. (KINS)

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