New Delhi: Reports have appeared in a section of press alleging irregularity in the award of contract for building Zojila tunnel. In this regard it is stated that the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways follows due procedure while maintaining complete transparency in the award of any contracts. In the instant case also the contract was awarded after due diligence after the bid was found technically responsive. Financial bid was opened and the quoted Semi Annuity amount found in line with the approval of CCEA for award of the work.
It is further stated that E-Tendering process was adopted for award of Zojila Tunnel contract with the mode of BOT (Annuity) and concession period of 22 years including 7 years construction period.
The construction of Zozila tunnel will establish all-weather connectivity from Srinagar to Kargil/ Leh of NH: 1D (new NH-1). The DPR for Zozila tunnel was prepared in 2012-13. The project was approved by CCEA in its meeting held on 17.10.2013 with Total Project Cost (TPC) of Rs. 9090 crore on BOT (Annuity) mode. The National Security Council (NSC) meeting was held on 06.04.2010 under Chairmanship of Prime Minister on “Border Infrastructure” development. In the light of NSC meeting, an Empowered Committee on Border Infrastructure (ECBI) has also been constituted under Chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary vide Cabinet Secretariat OM dated 02.06.2010 to monitor the Border Infrastructures projects including Srinagar –Kargil –Leh Section. The development of this road including construction of this tunnel is strategically important and hence the strategic construction of this tunnel is enormous.
The RFQ was invited in April, 2013. Four agencies purchased the RFQ documents. However, only one agency submitted the RFQ document. Being single tender at RFQ (Technical bid) stage, the tender process was cancelled without going to RFP (Financial stage).
Subsequently, RFQ was again invited and four agencies were technically pre-qualified to participation at RFP stage. Out of this four pre-qualified agencies only one Agency participated at RFP (Financial stage). Being a single tender, the Financial bid was not opened as per Ministry’s Circular No.NH-14019/4/2008-P&M dated 27.04.2008 [Single tender received in first call shall be cancelled without opening the bid and the tender shall be re-invited].
Based on the above experience, it was decided to adopt change in system of calling bid i.e. from two stage (RFQ & RFP) system to single stage (RFP) system. Accordingly, a fresh bid adopting single stage (two cover) system for wider participation by the Agencies was called. Considering the geographical & strategic location of the project, a wider publication through leading Newspapers (The Hindu, The Times of India, The Economic Times, Dainik Jagran & Dainik Hindustan) and also through Ministry of External Affairs to foreign countries, Indian Road Congress, International Association of Bridge & Structural Engineers (IABSE), Ministry of Railways was adopted. Further sufficient time more than 90 days was given (invited on 30th July, 2015 with last date of receiving 2nd November, 2015).
In response only one bidder participated. Being a single tender under single stage (two cover system) was cancelled without opening the bid as per Ministry’s Circular No.NH-14019/4/2008-P&M dated 27.04.2008 [Single tender received in first call shall be cancelled without opening the bid and the tender shall be re-invited].
Subsequently, tender was re-invited giving the last date for submission of the bid on 10th December, 2015. In response only single bid was received from M/s. IRB Infrastructure Developers Ltd. The bid was opened and evaluated. Found technically responsive and its financial bid was opened and found the quoted Semi Annuity amount in line with the approval of CCEA for award of the work.