Contractors blame it on unviable mode of payment in ULBs

(File Image)
(File Image)

Hyderabad:  Mission Bhagiratha, the drinking water grid to supply purified water to the entire Telangana, has hit a roadblock in the urban areas with private agencies refusing to participate in the tender process while opposing the annuity payment mode. The same is the case in Amrut (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation) towns.  

The private agencies are demanding payments immediately after the completion of the project. The contractors also say that guidelines in the tenders do not give any guarantee for the payment of the expenditure incurred on the project works. The contractors are opposing the annuity scheme because under this system the government pays a fixed sum of money to the agency every year and hence it will not be financially viable for them. 

Official sources told The Hans India that the government had recently called for tenders to execute the works for the development of water supply grid between urban and rural areas in 35 municipalities, including 10 AMRUT towns in the state.

Under the scheme, the water supply system in urban local bodies (ULBs)  and rural water supply grid would be integrated to meet the  drinking  water needs in the towns.  The state government has accorded sanction of  Rs 4,400 crore, of which Rs 3,700 would be loan and Rs 700 crore will be Central subsidy for Amrut towns.   

Top officials of the Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MAUD) department told The Hans India that the government had invited tenders under three packages.    

Under the package one, 7 Amrut municipalities – Karimangar,  Ramagundam,  Khammam,  Mahbubnagar,  Miryalaguda, Nalgonda and Suryapet and under package two, Adilabad,  Warangal and Nizamabad Corporations are to be covered. The Telangana Urban Finance Infrastructure Development Corporation (TUFIDC) would be the nodal agency for Amrut towns for the release and  funds.

Under the package three, the remaining  25 ULBs-- Jagityal, Korutla,  Metpally, Siricilla,  Palvoncha, Sathupally,  Yellandu,  Bellampally,  Bhainsa,  Kagaznagar, Mancherial , Mandamarri,  Nirmal,  Jangaon,  Gadwal,  Narayanpet,  Wanaparthy, Bhongir,  Tandur,  Vikarabad,  Sadasivpet,  Sangareddy, Zaheerabad, Bhodan and Kamareddy are covered.   

As there is no positive response from the contractors, the MAUD department brought the issue to the notice of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and requested the Finance department to modify the tendering process and ensure utilisation of Central funds quickly. The Finance department is the authority to oversee the tenders and release of funds to the agencies.