A senior GHMC official requesting anonymity said the contractors would be forced to take up the desilting project or else they would threaten them with the vigilance cases. DC Image
Hyderabad: Despite clearing pending bills worth Rs 190 crore, it looks like there are no takers for the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation's (GHMC) annual nala desilting programmes.
The contracting agencies are demanding the rest of the bills of about Rs 100 crore which have been pending since March 2021. With plans for widening nalas under the Strategic Nala Development Programme (SNDP) still in its beginning stage, the desilting has now become vital to save the city from inundation.
However, the tussle between contractors and the civic body has put the project to a grinding halt. The city is now staring at urban flooding this year too.
According to highly placed sources, the corporation has in several phases cleared Rs 600 crore worth pending bills pertaining to the nala desilting for 2019-20 and 2020-21. The civic body has recently cleared bills worth Rs 190 crore which are due until March 2020.
It is yet to clear bills worth about Rs 100 crore since April 2020. The civic body very recently invited tenders for pre-monsoon and annual nala desilting. Sources said that the contract agencies had been shying away from even participating in the tender process, especially in Kukatpally and Serilingampally.
Sources also said the SNDP wing officials had not even completed one per cent of nala widening. The GHMC announced to take up SNDP after flash floods during October 2020 with an estimated cost of Rs 858.32 crore.
The authorities have not yet even invited bids for over 30 works out of the total 55 works. The project has been divided into 15 packages and 55 works. Of them, 36 fall within the purview of the GHMC and remaining in the adjoining municipalities.
Though tenders were invited for 24 works, only four agencies turned up, while others kept away citing the credibility of the GHMC, as it did not even make timely payments pertaining to nala desilting works for nine months now.
A senior GHMC official requesting anonymity said the contractors would be forced to take up the desilting project or else they would threaten them with the vigilance cases. He said the corporation was forced to do this, since it had no contractors who were eligible for the project.
The official said that the pre-monsoon and annual nala desilting tenders were already invited by the GHMC and instructions were given to deputy commissioners of all 30 circles to negotiate with the contractors to take up the nala desilting project. He said the SNDP was progressing at a very slow pace despite instructions from Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar.
"With no additional nalas, the pre-monsoon desilting has become vital. If not desilted, the city would be drowned and its intensity would increase when compared to previous years," the official added.