Capital construction tender withdrawn. Further delay in Amaravati works

amaravati-a-non-starter

Lesson no 1. Transparency is the best option

How much revenue share was to be given to the Singapore consortium offering to build Amaravati ?? For reasons best known to itself, the state government wanted to keep this under wraps. And that has now come to haunt the capital construction process after the high court’s intervention.

In a move that could delay the construction of Amaravati, the Andhra Pradesh government on Wednesday informed the Hyderabad High Court that it has decided to withdraw the tender issued for building core area of the capital city.

The government said it would rework the entire exercise and issue a fresh tender notification inviting a request for proposal (RFP) from eligible firms again. “We will do it in accordance with the recent amendments brought to the AP Infrastructure Act,“ AP’s advocate general Dammalapati Srinivas told a bench of acting Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan and Justice U Durga Prasad Rao. The bench was hearing two petitions filed by Aditya Housing Company and another firm challenging the manner in which AP was seeking counter proposals to the original one floated by a Singapore consortium under the Swiss Challenge method.

A single judge had earlier stayed the process last month after terming the state’s approach as not only non-transparent and contrary to the AP Infrastructure Development Enabling Act 2001, but also contradictory to the Swiss Challenge method the government has chosen to award the contract.

Non-disclosure of the revenue share offered by the Singapore consortium was quoted as a major lapse by the petitioners and the single judge found logic in their contention. Later, the state filed an appeal against the single judge order and the bench headed by acting CJ is hearing claims and counter claims. In this backdrop, AP’s advocate general informed the court that the state was not interested to proceed further with the present notification.

“The state wants to redo the exercise,“ he said and added that this would render the current petition infructuous as the very notification it challenged is going to be nullified by the state now.

However, when D Prakash Reddy , the senior counsel said the observations made by the single judge are still valid, the bench said the state was free to issue a fresh notification and the petitioners were free to challenge them if they still find any issues.

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