The Andhra Pradesh government said that it saved public money to the tune of ₹58 crore through the reverse tendering process undertaken for the Polavaram national irrigation project. Tenders for 65th package of the Polavaram project’s Left connectivity works have been given to Max Infra (I) Ltd, which had bid for the works with five other companies.
The YSR Congress Party government claimed that Max Intra (I) Ltd, was the lowest bidder which quoted 15.6% lesser ( ₹231 crore) than the estimated cost of Rs.274 crore. In a statement released on Friday evening, the AP government said that the same company had secured the same work for ₹292 crore during the previous Telugu Desam Party government, led by former chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu.
According to a document released by the Andhra Pradesh government, the same work had been given to the Max Infra (I) Ltd earlier this year in March (previous TDP government) at a cost of ₹291 crore, at 4.77% excess over the ₹2.76 crore estimated cost. “The same company, during Chandrababu's government, bid the tender for excess 4.8% which is another example of corruption during TDP's government. A big amount of Rs. 58 crores of government money has been saved in this reverse tendering process," added the statement.
The AP government, led by chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, has begun reverse-tendering various works in the Polavaram irrigation project, citing alleged corruption during the previous TDP government’s time. The project has also become a contentious matter between the state and Centre, after the AP government in July issued a pre-closure termination notice for works over ₹3,000 crore, given to Navayuga Engineering Company limited, which was supposed to complete part of the ongoing project works.
The decision was based on the recommendation of an expert committee. The construction giant was asked to consent to the termination or exit the project and settle accounts in 15 days (it approached the AP High Court and has got a stay in August). The move also did not go down with the Centre, which has since sought details of the expert committee’s recommendations.
Naidu, while addressing a press conference on Friday, criticized Jagan Mohan Reddy, saying that the latter does know what he is doing. “It (project) has to have a foundation, it needs specialization. It’s a unique project in India. This chief minister should keep quiet if he doesn’t know anything," he added.