Thursday, November 19, 2009

DDA Cancelled Contract for not meeting Deadline

With six months left to the deadline, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) seems to have decided to become a strict paymaster. It has terminated the contract of the consortium building the practice areas in the Commonwealth Games Village, a first for the land agency in a Games-related project. The reason: failure to meet expectations and norms as per the agreement. Now, DDA plans to implement the project itself.

Admitted Neemo Dhar, spokesperson for the DDA, "We rescinded the contract as the terms of the agreement were not being met. The DDA will now implement the project through sub-contractors.'' The decision comes barely months before the deadline June 2010. The internal deadline for the agency's contractors is, incidentally, March 2010. The consortium Sportina Payce Infrastructure Pvt Ltd was to build the practice venues within the Commonwealth Games Village, including the swimming, wrestling and athletic tracks as well as the field area for hammer throw and other facilities. With the termination however, DDA will have to step into the breach, admitted officials.

Sources in the land agency claimed that one of the primary reasons for the termination was the consortium’s inability to provide adequate labor, resulting in unmet deadlines. A senior DDA official said, "The contractor had been engaged last year but deadlines were not being met consistently. Despite repeated warnings, there was no improvement, so the contract had to be terminated.'' Despite repeated attempts, officials from Sportina Payce were not available for comments.

Said a senior official, "We expect the work to continue without a hitch as the sub-contractors will remain the same, only they will be working for us directly now.'' Officials said that work on the venues had already started under the agency in order to meet the March deadline. "It is a tough task, especially as a large part of the work still needs to be done. With DDA directly handling the project, it is expected that the project will get back on track, though the internal March deadline may not be a possibility,'' added the official.

Its not the first time that work at the Village has come to a grinding halt due to differences with the contractor. Earlier this year, lack of funds had prompted Emaar MGF, the consortium in-charge of the Village construction, to stop work at the site. While DDA had eventually rescued the consortium at that time with a financial bailout, the interruption had resulted in delay of the project. This time, DDA is hoping that the termination of the contractor will not have an impact, despite the fact that only four months are left to the internal deadline.