E-tendering hit by internet blockade

Contactors question logic of online mode during internet shutdown

Nazima Sidiq

Srinagar: E-tendering adopted off late by the government as the sole medium of tendering, has been hit by the communication blockade in Kashmir, which has left the internet and mobile phones defunct in Kashmir for the last two months.
While, some departments are extending dates for filing tenders (e-tenders), many contractors are questioning the rationale of using online mode at a time when internet has been barred on all platforms in Kashmir.
An advertisement issued by Executive Engineer, Roads and Buildings, Special Sub- Division Uri extended the date of tender filing to October 2, 2019, stating that no online tendering process could proceed due to snapping of internet and non- availability of transportation.
Some contractors who spoke to Kashmir Reader said that while e- tendering had made the process transparent, the absence of any online means due to communication clampdown has made the filing almost impossible.
“We were applying for tenders through online mode but to the internet blockade we are not able to file the tenders,” Farooq Ahmad, a contractor said while asking why the authorities were going for e- tendering when there is no internet connectivity in the state.
“When authorities are getting cold response for the tenders then what is the fun for again issuing fresh tenders through online mode,” he added.
Farooq suggested that government should revert to the traditional mode of getting tenders through physical documents.
Some contractors, however, are sending associates to outside states to fill the tenders.
“There are some facilities to avail internet, however for OTP generation while filing tenders it is necessary to have a functional mobile,” said Bashir Ahamd Khan, another contractor. “That is why we have to visit other states to file tenders”.
He also suggested that government should revert to the old method of seeking tenders through offline mode, so that development works do not suffer.

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