5,000 CCTVs in city: State negotiates with 2nd-lowest bidder

Jul 23 2013, 00:53 IST
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SummaryLowest bidder was disqualified for failing to deposit bank guarantee

Following disqualification of the lowest bidder, state government is negotiating with Essar Group company AGC Networks, which bid the second-lowest at Rs 950 crore, to install 5,000 CCTVs in the city.

Sai Infotech System of Gujarat bid Rs 650 crore but failed to deposit bank guarantee.

While sources said AGC Networks was ready to “match the quote offered by the lowest bidder and is in talks with government”, chief secretary Jayant Kumar Banthia said the company had set a number of conditions and wanted changes in tender rules.

“As per rules, the project can be awarded to the second-lowest bidder only if he matches the lowest bid. However, the second-lowest bidder has asked for a number of changes in tender conditions. Government cannot change rules for one company. Negotiations are on and it is difficult to say at this stage whether the deal will go through,” said Banthia.

Sources said, “They (AGC Networks) have asked for consideration as situation and the financial climate have changed since the bidding was first awarded. The dollar has appreciated around 15 per cent. As bulk of the project involves heavy imports, they are looking for flexibility.”

If a deal is not struck, government will have to re-tender the project for a third time. The first tender was scrapped last year after a shortlisted firm was blacklisted.

The lowest bidder in the second round of tendering was supposed to deposit a bank guarantee of 10 per cent of the bid amount (Rs 65 crore) with the government by March this year. Sai Infotech System could not till May for reasons such as delay in acquiring bank loan.

The government then asked the firm to deposit part of guarantee. A cheque issued by company for Rs 1 crore, however, bounced. “Officials of firm were arrested in connection with irregularities in a contract for office of Ahmedabad post master general. Using political pressure, they bought a lot of time for our project,” said Banthia.

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