ISLAMABAD – The Capital Development Authority has decided to accommodate both the lowest bidders in awarding contract of Margalla Avenue, though efforts were underway to oblige a blue-eyed firm. During an open bidding for the contract, Karachi-based M/s RM Gulistan Engineers and Contractors and Quetta-based Rakhshani Builders had a stiff competition and offered bid worth Rs 500 million, even far lower than the CDA-proposed cost of Rs 740 million.
However, even month after the open bidding, the lowest bidders are yet awaiting award of the work. Earlier, some circles in the CDA lobbied to oblige a blue-eyed firm by convincing competitors to offer bids in connivance with the specific firm, but the said two companies successfully resisted the move.
Even to the astonishment of the CDA high ups, both the firms offered bids far lower than the CDA’s own estimates. The CDA has now decided to award contract to both the firms instead of going for alternate methods to select a single firm.
As per traditional practice, in case the firms offer equal bids, they are asked to submit sealed bids and the lower one is awarded contract. Both the firms did not object to this mode of contract award.
But, according to an official, some circles were reluctant to award the work to the lowest bidders by imposing unnecessary restrictions.
The CDA has sought a 30 percent bank guarantee from the bidders contrary to the previous practice of 10 to 15 percent guarantee.
“We have agreed to pay even 30 percent bank guarantee, but still await the award of work,” said a senior official of Rakhshani Builders, though informing that they had already agreed to pay the required bank guarantee. Moreover, the CDA also wanted to reduce the deadline for completion of the project, he said. However, some officials in CDA feared that the companies could delay the project besides compromising on the quality of work. He said though awarding contract at lower rate would financially benefit the CDA, but it should consider pros and cons before signing any deal.
The Margalla Avenue would link Central Islamabad with GT Road and Motorway passing along the Nicholson Monument and its importance has increased after the CDA planned to launch two residential sectors of C-15 and C-16 along the avenue.
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