Ring road delay: RPS now blames PWD, cops & seeks 15 more months

NAGPUR: Unable to complete the Ring Road widening and concretization work by the first deadline of September last year and extended one till August 15 this year, Mumbai-based Private Limited has sought yet another extension up to November 15, 2019 for completing the project.

Not stopping at this, RPS, which is already facing allegations of inferior quality work and several violations, has submitted a letter to the PWD executive engineer on June 27 hinting it may seek extension beyond November 15, 2019 for finishing gone to pieces the project.

The PWD had issued work order to RPS on September 24, 2015 for widening and concretization of Inner Ring Road in two years. Though the work’s estimated cost was Rs 260.77 crore, RPS had bagged the contract quoting 21.51% below at Rs 204.68 crore.

RPS also blamed the PWD and traffic police for the delay and said, “We shall claim compensation. Though the contract does not contain any clause for payment of compensation for the delays, we shall claim the same under sections 55 and 73 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872, and established law of the land.”

As per RPS, it had earlier sought extension of 21 months but the PWD chief engineer approved the same up to only August 15. The contractor has cited three reasons for the delay — various types of hindrances/obstructions at the site, inordinate delay in putting over the site and also releasing payments.

Blacklisted by for road works scam, RPS said, “Work suffered due to piecemeal permissions given by the traffic police for closing traffic on one side of the road. This difficulty was brought to the notice through many letters and also during meetings. Traffic police also imposed restrictions on movement of trucks carrying construction material during peak hours (9am to 11am and 5pm to 7pm),” the contractor said.

Activist Suraj Lolage obtained information about the project’s status under the RTI Act. Interestingly, public works department (PWD) has initiated no action like termination of contract against RPS despite inordinate delay in completion of the project. The contractor has completed less than 60% of the work as on date.

Highlighting the delay, Lolage demanded FIR against PWD and RPS officials. “Inner Ring Road is a lifeline for hundreds of people. Due to frequent blockages, citizens are facing severe inconvenience. It is like rubbing on the citizens’ wounds if the contractor is given extension of 15 months. Many road mishaps have occurred due to lack of safety measures at the construction sites,” he said.

Lolage said PWD did not take any action against RPS despite several violations of the contract. “Even the district administration has initiated no action despite all the evidences submitted along with complaint in connection with irregularities in royalty ,” he said.

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