statesman news service
KOLKATA, 13 JUNE: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) will once again float a global tender to select a firm to desilt and strengthen underground sewer line on Rashbehari Avenue.
Citing a technical clause, some lobbyists close to a section of senior Trinamul Congress leaders have convinced higher officials in the state Municipal Affairs department and the KMC to float a fresh tender. This will not only lead to an additional expenditure of not less than Rs 15 crore but will also increase chances of subsidence on Rashbehari Avenue as the underground sewer line has been cleaned but no liner has been installed.
The KMC terminated the contract of APS Michigan after it found the quality of work unsatisfactory in 2008. The civic body took two years to float global tender and award the contract to Anger Lehner, an Austria-based company. As the underground sewer line was not cleaned for nearly two years, the firm had to desilt once again and there was an additional expenditure to the tune of around Rs 20 crore. The company became insolvent and the Austrian court appointed an administrator. The administrator informed the KMC that the old company will fit into the shoes of Internationale Anger Liner and will not only use its equipment but also work at the rate of the old contract. Taking advantage of a clause in the contract that the KMC might terminate the contract of a company that has become insolvent, the lobbyists began putting pressure on the civic body thorough the state municipal affairs department. The tender will be floated shortly. The work should have been completed by September.
Engineers who are experts on city infrastructure, said as the sewer line has been cleaned, liners need to be installed immediately. But as liners have not been installed, the underground sewer line has become hollow and with heavy vehicles using the road, the sewer line may collapse any time.