27 نومبر، 2014

Offers open: K-P govt gets green light for two power projects

 

PESHAWAR: The provincial government has been given the green light to reissue tender offers for two electricity generation projects in Malakand Division after the Peshawar High Court dismissed a petition challenging the government’s decision. 

The bench of Chief Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel and Justice Muhammad Ghazanfar on Friday dismissed the petition filed by Sinotec Company Limited, one of the projects’ bidders.

Sinotec’s counsel Muhammad Akram Sheikh told the court that the Pakhtunkhwa Hydel Development Organization (PHYDO) had advertised tenders for the construction of the 69 megawatt (MW) Lawi Hydel Project in Chitral and 84MW Gorkin Matiltan hydropower Project in Swat. The completion time for both projects was mentioned as five and four years, respectively.

Irregularities

Sheikh further said his client participated in the bidding process and was declared the lowest bidder because it offered an amount which was Rs4 billion lower than the second lowest bidder.

“The sealed bids were opened in PHYDO’s office and the meeting was chaired by the secretary of the energy and power department,” said Sheikh.



The lawyer further explained that an evaluation committee endorsed the bid opening process as transparent. However, one of the bidders brought alleged irregularity to the chief minister’s notice.

“On April 21, the CM formed a committee comprising the secretaries of law and finance departments and vice chairman of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Board of Investment to probe violations in the bidding process,” said Sheikh.

He contended the formulation of the said enquiry committee is illegal since an autonomous body declared Sinotec the lowest bidder. “No prior notice was issued to the company and it was not even given the opportunity of a hearing,” he added.

According to Sheikh, the terms and conditions of the tendering process were amended without any notice and the CM’s formulated committee decided that Sinotec’s discounted offer cannot be accepted.

“The CM then ordered that the tender be floated again. But the major point is that there is difference of Rs4 billion between the lowest (Sinotec) and second lowest bidder to complete both projects,” said Sheikh.

The government’s side

In response to Sheikh’s arguments, PHYDO’s counsel Shumail Ahmad Butt told the court that Sinotec has submitted a separate letter of discount with the bidding documents which is not acceptable.

Butt further said that when PHYDO re-advertised the projects, the company approached the high court and obtained a stay order. “If they had grievances they should have approached the K-P Public Procurement Authority,” said Butt.

The counsel went on to add that Sinotec provided bogus certificates of experience with the bidding documents it submitted. “A separate document offering an 11% discount was also attached; this is not acceptable which is why the enquiry committee formulated by the CM recommended that the bid be rejected,” contended Butt.

After hearing arguments from both sides, the bench dismissed Sinotec’s petition. The government can now re-invite bids for the two projects in Swat and Chitral. The collective cost of the two projects is Rs40 billion.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 22nd, 2014.

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