Thursday, May 26, 2016


The Pioneer (Bhubaneswar), May 25, 2016
Even as people in the entire Nuapada district and some parts of Kalahandi district are forced to continue to use fluoride water and suffer from various health hazards, the delay in execution of the proposed Rs 752.44-crore Mega PWS (Piped Water Supply) Projects, the tender process for which had been completed around six months ago, has only added to their woes.
The people had got heaved a sigh of relief after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik asked the RD Department in April 2015 to initiate tender process for the RIDF project to be funded by the Nabard. The Government had decided to undertake this project after intervention of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).  
According to sources, following the Chief Minister’s approval a due procedure was adopted to select a final bidder and the same was completed in November 2015. The Technical Expert Committee selected Shapooji and Company Pvt Ltd, Mumbi as the final bidder finalizing the contract money at Rs 724.96 crore against the project estimate of Rs 752.44 crore.
The process had also witnessed intervention of the High Court as one of the three bidders, after failing to come in the qualified list, approached it. As per the direction of the HC, the Technical Committee too reexamined the representation of the petitioner firm, the IL and FS Transportation Network Ltd, Mumbai, and found the marks awarded to it was just and proper. And hence, the Shapooji and Company Pvt Ltd remained as the qualified final bidder to undertake the work.
As per the procedure, the Technical Committee sent the file mentioning name of the Shappji firm to Finance Department for obtaining approval of the Government in February. But the file now remains unmoved much to the worry of 9.56 lakh people of 1733 habitations in Nuapada district and 18 habitations in Kalahandi district.
Meanwhile, a revelation made by another source has stunned the social activists who have been fighting for long to get portable water for the fluoride affected people.
According to it, an Apex Committee led by Chief Secretary was formed to reexamine the tender process and take a final call on implementation of the much-awaited project.
When the tender process has been finalised and the same has been sent to Government for final approval, what was the need of forming the Apex Committee to examine. Whether it has been formed to expedite the process or halt it, many wanted to know.

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