5 years on, govt to float CCTV project tenders for third time

Nearly five years after the state government announced the ambitious project of installing 6,000 CCTV cameras in Mumbai after the 26/11 terror attack, the government will float tenders for the same for the third time. Earlier, there were two failed attempts at appointing a company. Based on a new financial model, fresh tenders will be floated next month for the Rs 864 crore project.

Chief Secretary J K Banthia said the payment condition has been changed this time. "After floating the past two tenders, we have realized that the issues are financial and not technical. Financially, it is not a very sound time for IT companies. Now, we have divided Mumbai into five zones and the payment will be made to the company after 95-98 per cent of installation is complete in one phase. Earlier, payments were made after all 6,000 CCTVs were to be installed," said Banthia.

Following disqualification of the lowest bidder in the vital project, the state was negotiating with the second lowest bidder whose original bid was Rs 1051 crore. The lowest bidder, Gujarat-based Sai Infotech System's bid for Rs 650 crore was disqualified after it failed to pay a bank guarantee.

However, talks with the second lowest bidder - AGC Networks Ltd owned by the Essar Group - did not go through since the company demanded a number of changes in the tender, which were non-agreeable to the government. These included a demand for mobility advance payment, which would effectively mean changing important tender conditions.

Following repeated inability of private operators to take up the project, last month the state started looking at PSUs such as the Electronics Corporation of India Limited to see if they will be able to take up the project.

mumbai.newsline@expressindia.com

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