- The state water resources department, notorious for awarding irrigation contracts at hugely inflated rates to select contractors, wants to shed its scam-tainted image.
- The irrigation contractors have started quoting rates below the official estimate.
- Another 17 contracts were given at par, while 21 works were quoted above the estimate.
- “Previously, contracts were fixed and the work estimate itself used to be inflated. Now realistic estimates are prepared by the department,” said the official.
- One of the biggest decisions by the department was to scrap pre-qualification of tender process, which removed the minister’s power to sanction work orders.
- Over the years, there was major manipulation and corruption, and the system was fixed to help contractors with political connections or those willing to bribe.
- New rules stipulate that contractors will be allowed to submit bids. The lowest bidder’s experience and capability to carry out the work will be checked only after tenders are opened.