Saturday, July 24, 2010

Contractors Expressed their Inability of August Deadline

The two agencies working on the DDA flats at D6, Vasant Kunj walked out of the project earlier this month expressing their inability to meet the August deadline. The flats were to house 1,500 Indian and 650 foreign technical officials during the Delhi Games. The chief engineer of the site says only 604 of the 5,000-odd flats will be ‘‘definitely ready’’ by August-end while some more may be complete but he cannot give a figure to it. This despite the fact that in the June 29 GoM meeting, vice-chairman of DDA had said there was likely to be a shortfall of only 130 flats which are at a ‘‘very rudimentary stage’’. Chief engineer S R Solanki says DDA is looking at options to get the work done through work orders as there was no time to issue full-fledged tenders.

Solanki said: ‘‘M/s Brahmaputra and M/s A K Mehta were working on eight towers each. Earlier this month both wrote to us saying they cannot complete the work on time. So we are looking at other ways to get it done. Going by the present situation, 476 flats will be ready by the third week of August and another 128 will be ready by end-August. Some more may be complete but it is difficult to commit right now.’’

Interestingly, sources say when the work was awarded to the two agencies, the original plan was to incorporate 1% penalty for delays. However, the agencies managed to get a waiver on the ground that DDA’s lethargic way of functioning had already caused them to lose three months. DDA vice chairman had at the same meeting also informed the GoM that the authority was planning to get additional labor from non-CWG sites shifted to Vasant Kunj to speed up the pace of work which was to be monitored on a daily basis. The agencies walking out have put a spanner in the works. The GoM had talked about options of blacklisting defaulting contractors but DDA sources say that now the priority is to get work back on track rather than penalizing errant agencies.