By Rajkumar Topannavar
In the past, I have complained about the total failure of Belagavi Smart City Limited(BSCL). Belagavi city was selected in the first phase of smart cities but if you compare us with the cities selected in the 2nd and 3rd phase we are far behind.
My earlier complaint was forwarded to MOHUA which forwarded it to MOUDA, Karnataka. They called me for the meeting and then when I traveled to Bengaluru from Belagavi which is an overnight journey I was told that the meeting was postponed and I would be informed of the meeting when it will happen. I was later not intimated.
My fears of project failures and wrong selection of Project Monitoring Consultant(PMC) and Integrated command and control center (ICCC) contractor has come true.
There are many discrepancies in the PMC team and ICCC project contractor BEL, many stories and articles have been covered regarding these two in the local and state media but the State Government has failed to take action.
Lehmar India was awarded the contract to be the PMC, Lehmar never deployed a full team with the required expertise and experience as per the agreement with BSCL. They hired freshers from college and always kept staff lesser than the agreement.
Since many Managing Directors changed in BSCL and there was no competent authority to monitor the works of PMC the PMC did things as it suited, Later Lehmar India went bankrupt and went to NCLT. A company called Tractebel India took over Lehmar India. Tractebel India had no experience in smart Cities but since they acquired Lehmar India BSCL had an agreement with Tractebel India and continued as PMC. We don’t know what part of Lehmar India did they acquire, was it liabilities or skills and experience of Lehmar India?
Tractebel India is no different from Lehmar India and they have failed on many levels to deliver.
Tractebel India does not have a skilled team as per the agreement. They have never deployed the required number of people nor the present team has the required experience, qualifications and skills.
BSCL has invested more than 350 crores out of 1000 crores allocated to them and the PMC does not have a Road expert. How are the contractors being paid when there is no Road expert for planning, approval monitoring of designs, drawings, and progress of works. You can verify and compare designs and drawings before awarding the contract and present works. Presently the contractor’s team does all the drawings and estimates as per their convenience and profitability and the Team Leader is approving their work without the presence of a Road Expert. First of all the Team Leader does not have the required skills and qualifications and on that, he is approving the progress of works and designs. There is information that the PMC team is taking bribes from the Contractors to approve the phase of works for payments.
Most of the smart roads work done is unscientific, wrongly designed and rates overestimated. Congress Road, Srinagar Road and KPTCL Road designs, estimates and work in progress need to be examined by a professional third party.
ICT Expert for ICCC project is also a fresher and lacks experience and does not know anything about the working of ICCC. His credentials need to be verified, Presently the work status of ICCC is being verified by professors of Engineering college who are not abreast with the latest technology involved in ICCC project nor do they have experience in these subjects.
The selection of Bharat Electrical Limited as a vendor for ICCC project just because they went 40 crores below is surprising. when BSCL called shortlisted vendors for technical proof of concept, BEL did not have the expertise to do that and they called upon a private company to participate in the proof of concept meeting and showcase but after awarding the contract BEL delayed the project for many months, Its been more than 3 years now and they have failed in delivery, now they have deployed 5 different vendors to complete the work who have huge coordination issues. BEL in the first place has no experience in the components of ICCC, They may be good in defense and other sectors.
Leniency is being given to BEL because they are a Government of India undertaking at the cost of the people of Belagavi.
Even if BEL delivers it will be a total mess and ICCC being at the heart and nerve centre of the smart city projects would lead to total failure.
While other cities selected in the 2nd and 3rd phases of selection have already completed the 1st phase of ICCC and have called tenders for the 2nd phase of ICCC projects.
Requesting you to sign this petition so that the State and Central Government takes action on these Organisations and Belagavi can grow as one of the best Smart Cities in our Country.
An online petition has been floated for the same,
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