SHIMLA: The Himachal Pradesh high court has directed the public works department (PWD) of Nahan in Sirmaur district to issue necessary certificate and approval to the application made by bidder/petitioner for the construction of link road to Bakarla village. The bidder had approched the court alleging malafide intent, as the tender was cancelled without assigning any reasons.
The court further directed the petitioner that after clearance according to the tender notification, he should complete the work and submit compliance report to the court within six months.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice L Narayana Swamy and Justice Dharam Chand Chaudhary passed these orders on a writ petition filed by Mohammad Jaseem of Sirmaur district. It has been alleged in the petition that the engineer-in-chief of PWD had floated tenders for an estimated cost of Rs 46,94,132 for the 4km-stretch of link road to Bakarla village. He being eligible, the bidder had submitted his quote.
The petitioner had averred that he is the successful bidder, as he had quoted the lowest bid amounting to Rs 18,17,172 against the sanctioned estimated cost of Rs 46,94,132. But the executive engineer, instead of awarding the tender in his favour, cancelled the tender process itself.
Stating that the cancellation is politically motivated, the petitioner had prayed to the court to issue directions to the respondents to accept the bid offered by him.
In reply to the aforesaid petition, the additional advocate general said the process was cancelled keeping in view the past experiences — incompletion of work executed by the contractors like the petitioner.
However, the court, after going through material placed on record, as well as the calculation chart in which the petitioner had claimed that he could complete the work even before the stipulated period of six months, said it is inclined to direct the respondents to accept the bid of the petitioner.
But the court also reiterated that it does not have the technical knowledge to evaluate the content of the bid application. But, on the face of it, the court observed that since the petitioner had submitted that what was estimated by the state instrumentalities for the construction of 4-km road, is on the higher side lacking pragmatic calculations and if it could be done for almost Rs 19 lakh, it is going to be an example and will throw light on how state instrumentalities spend public money unnecessarily.
In order to assess the progress made by the petitioner, the court posted the matter to the first week of January 2020.