Successfully resisting unwarranted pressure exerted by the powerful contractors association of the Capital Development Authority (CDA), the civic agency on Monday opened financial bids for infrastructure development of Park Enclave.
The association, with the support of a section of the media, had tried to manipulate the pre-qualification process of construction firms but the city managers effectively thwarted any such effort and announced the lowest bidder for the work.
A construction firm, Chaudhry Abdul Latif and Sons, filed the lowest financial bid of Rs1.26 billion for the development of a road network, storm water drainage, water supply system, sewage line, landscaping and electrical work at Park Enclave --- a housing colony stretching over an area of 211 acres.
The lowest financial bid is 23.9 per cent higher than the National Highway Authority’s (NHA) 2011 schedule of rates and 46 per cent higher than the Military Engineering Services’ (MES) 2009 schedule of rates.
It has been noticed in the past that several contractors, in a bid to win contracts, offered financial bids that are even lower than CDA’s calculated amounts and below the NHA and MES schedule of rates. But in all cases, the contractors failed to complete the projects in the given costs which resulted in post tender cost escalation.
“The lowest financial bid is realistic and workable,” said the CDA spokesperson, adding the incumbent CDA management was given this scheme with the tentative cost estimation of the whole project at Rs 2.5 billion but after hectic efforts over the cost component it was rationalised and now would be completed in Rs1.26 billion. He said the working order of the project will be issued within the next 10 days upon completion of all formalities. “The development of this scheme will help resolve the longstanding issue of allottees who invested their hard earned money in the scheme,” he added.
On July 15, CDA had prequalified four of 32 construction firms that intended to execute the project. These firms included Chaudhry Abdul Latif and Sons, Maqbool Associates, Maakson and SKB.
On Monday, Chaudhry Abdul Latif and Sons filed the lowest bid and won the contract. Meanwhile, Maqbool Associates filed the second lowest bid which was above 24.5 per cent of MES 2009 rates while Maskon filed the third lowest bid which is 33 per cent higher than the NHA 2011 rates. While SKB did not participate in the financial bidding, saying the time given for the purpose was not enough to prepare a strong bid document.
While talking to The Express Tribune, President CDA Contractors Assosiation Mohammad Salim negated the impression that the body tried to manipulate the process. He said CDA deliberately set strict criteria for construction firms participating in the process.
This is the reason that only four out of 32 construction firms prequalified for the project, he alleged. He said several construction firms raised questions over the transparency of the process and being the president of the association he conveyed these reservations to the media.
CDA has allocated Rs500 million for the development of Park Enclave in its budget for the financial year 2014-15 and expects it to be completed by the end of 2015.
Park Enclave was launched in 2011 and the authority had offered some 613 plots of 500 square yards each. The development of the scheme was scheduled to be completed by December 2012, but for one reason or the other, the project continued to be delayed. Due to the lack of development, many allottees had also moved courts.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 22nd, 2014.
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