Unable to contract out Smart City projects, SSCL extends deadline

Unable to contract out Smart City projects, SSCL extends deadline
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Srinagar: The Srinagar Smart City Limited (SSCL) has yet again extended the deadline, this time by 14 days, for tenders seeking Project Management Consultant (PMC) for projects under the Smart City Mission. The deadline for submission of bids has been extended following requests from “interested companies”, the SSCL’s top officer said.
Chief Executive Officer, SSCL, Farooq Ahmad Lone told Kashmir Reader that three companies had expressed interest in the tenders. These companies requested more time to complete requisite formalities before submitting the bid proposals, Lone said.
“Because it is a huge project, we had sought a good amount of details from the firms, so that we don’t face any obstacle during the implementation process. We had sought even minute details like CVs (curriculum vitae) of persons working with/ for the company,” Lone said.
He said he is expecting “a good number” of firms to submit bids during the extended time-period.
Not a single company approached or submitted a bid proposal to the SSCL – a special purpose vehicle created to execute the Srinagar Smart City Mission – when it first invited tenders for Project Management Consultant to design, develop, manage and implement Smart City projects.
The last date for submission of bids was November 29, which was later extended by 10 days. Even then, not a single firm came forward with a bid or proposal.
The total cost of the Smart City projects has been fixed at Rs 3,815.98 crore.
Officials are maintaining that the “number of formalities” was the reason behind the cold response, but insiders told Kashmir Reader that the volatile situation in the Valley has kept firms wary of working in Kashmir.
The continued unrest may further delay the start of this ambitious project, which is expected to boost commercial as well as environmental infrastructure in Srinagar.
The Smart City Mission is a Government of India-supported project wherein an amount of Rs 2,774 crore has been allocated for Area-Based Developments (ABD) and Rs 277 crore for a Pan City Proposal (PCP). The project cost includes Rs 24.99 crore for Technical & Administration support expenses, such as survey and investigations, preparation of Draft Proposal Report (DPR), project management and supervision, etc.
As per the tender document, the list of projects identified for ABD are to be vetted in consultation with “stakeholders”, in regard to technical and economic feasibility, sustainability, etc. As such, the projects may change and other projects may be envisaged in consultation with the “stakeholders”.
“However, the total cost of project should remain the same,” says the document.
The projects and sub-projects identified for ABD include Jhelum waterfront beautification; creation of pathways and cycle tracks along Bund Road; Improvement of Ghats along Jhelum; dredging and silt removal of Jhelum; water transport terminal – boats, shikaras, area illumination along riverbanks, embankments along riverbank; biodigestors/interceptors for sewage treatment; eco-STP for treatment of wastewater; and façade restoration of heritage buildings.

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