OC sources confirmed that the letter of award, which is the green signal for the catering companies to start their preparations, have not been given to any of the companies except the consortium selected for the Village, comprising Delaware North, PKL and the Taj SATS.
The delay, say sources, could well derail operations as the selected companies had told the OC that at least 120 days are required to set up kitchens and other processes for functioning. The catering tender is running late by three months.
Said a senior OC official, ‘‘The matter is serious as these companies need time to set up preparations at the venues.’’ The reason for the continuing delay, according to sources, is a proposal to go in for a re-tender. ‘‘The last meeting of the finance committee (of the OC) saw suggestions of a re-tendering of the contract, as the companies selected were all single tenders,’’ added the source.
Except for one firm, no catering company selected to serve at Commonwealth Games venues has got contract letters yet. Some OC finance panel members want fresh tender as all selected firms came through single tenders. But companies had asked for lead time of 120 days to prepare. Global norm is 6 months
6 months needed to prepare for big event, claim caterers
A month after the organizing committee (OC) finally selected six firms for catering at the Games Village and other venues in the city, the contracts are yet to be awarded. The delay, sources say, is due to a proposal to go in for a re-tender as the companies selected were all single tenders. A single tender is when only one company responds to the request for proposal (RFP). The reason for the dismal response, say sources, was because the qualifying parameters had restricted the bids to those companies that had already catered in international events like the CWG.
Officially, though, the proposal for a re-tender has not been made yet. Said Lalit Bhanot, spokesperson for the OC, ‘‘There has been no such proposal from the finance committee yet. But if such a proposal is recommended, we will look into it.’’ Added a senior member of the finance committee, ‘‘We are examining the proposal (of the catering contract). Only after all aspects are examined can the proposal be recommended (for approval).’’ He refused to give a timeframe for approving the contract.
Meanwhile, the companies admit that the delay would cost them in the run-up to the Games. Said a senior official of IRCTC, which is one of the firms that has been selected, ‘‘The international norm is six months of lead time for catering for any big event like the Commonwealth Games. However, for the Delhi Games, the tender was supposed to come out in March but was awarded only in May. We have not been issued any letter of award, only given a verbal approval last month.’’ In fact, officials of Nirula’s, another company that was selected, admitted that not even the scope of work at the Games has been given to them yet.
Added an official of Graviss hospitality, which has been selected for catering at the JLN stadium and national stadium, ‘‘Even now, if the OC manages to award the contracts early, we can start preparations.”