PMGSY Phase VI runs into rough weather

By Lamphrang Nongspung

 SHILLONG: The implementation of the PMGSY in the State is facing a major bottle-neck since several contractors who bid for the road projects which would be taken up under Phase VI of the scheme have failed to meet the minimum requirements laid down by the Union Ministry of Rural Development.

The PWD had invited tenders for implementation of the 16 road projects under PMGSY amounting to around Rs 65 crore which is being funded by the World Bank.

It is learnt that the contractors who had bid for the tender do not qualify to take up the work as per the norms laid down by the Union Ministry.

One major criterion is that for a project amounting to Rs 5 crore, the contractors should have the experience of having implemented projects amounting to Rs 2.5 crore in the past.

Another criteria is that the contractors should have a technical expert with a minimum five years experience in road construction to monitor the projects.

A senior government official informed that the majority of contractors who have bid for the work do not meet any of the requirements mentioned above.

“The local contractors who have bid for these projects to be implemented under Phase VI do not have full time technical experts at their disposal. Many of the contractors hire the technical experts on a temporary basis,” a senior government official told The Shillong Times on Tuesday.

He also said that none of them have the exposure of implementing road projects amounting to Rs 2.5 crore.

He further informed that out of the 16 road projects, there are three projects which did not have any bidders while adding that all the three roads are in Garo Hills.

The senior government official revealed that a section of contractors are not keen to take up road projects under this scheme due to its stringent criteria.

“These contractors prefer to take up road projects under the State Plan Assistance (SPA) since the conditions are not stringent,” he said.

One of the criteria under the PMGSY is that the security deposit for Defective Liability Period (DLP) has a lock-in period of five years, he said while adding under the SPA, the security deposit would be release immediately after the completion of the project.

The senior government official informed that the contractor should be responsible for the maintenance of the road for a period of five years after its completion under the PMGSY while under the SPA the contractor is not responsible for the maintenance of the road after its completion.

Meanwhile, the official also informed that the draft agreement for preparation of the DPR is still pending with the Finance department.

He informed that there are three components of the agreement, adding that the first components is the construction part and would be funded by the Union Ministry.

The official said the second component is related with the removal of the public utility during course of the implementation of the road project which will be borne by the State Government.

“The third component of the agreement relates to the maintenance of the road which would be the responsibility of the State Government,” the official informed.

He informed that the State Government is taking time to examine the draft agreement since it is a new concept.

Replying to a query, he said that there are a number of projects which are still under progress under Phase II, III, IV and V.

“We have completed 99.32 percent of the works under Phase II,” the official said while adding that a total of 97.14 percent of the work has been completed under Phase III.

For Phase IV, the work completed is 95.03 percent, he said, adding, “We have completed around 61.95 percent for Phase V”.

It may be mentioned that the State would receive approximately Rs. 1070 crore over a period of five years (2010-2015) through the World Bank funding to construct rural roads during the implementation of PMGSY scheme.

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