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CDA 'commits gross irregularities' in bidding

LAHORE – The Cholistan Development Authority (CDA) has committed gross irregularities in the whole process of tendering of installation of 135 Solar Home Systems in three villages of Cholistan to benefit some blue-eyed
bidder and barred several companies to take part in the bidding process, causing the government exchequer millions of rupees loss, it was learnt on Thursday.

The sources confided to The Nation that the CDA awarded contract to the company with no experience in the field, and which bid the highest rate instead of the bidders offering relatively lower rates.

Sources said that the whole process was engineered to benefit some favourite companies as the Authority evolved such a procedure, which automatically abstained all the noted and experienced solar companies in the country even from entering the bidding.

They told the scribe that the tender documents price was set very high, as just 13-page documents were available for Rs 8,950. They said that the ‘earnest money’ deliberately misprinted in the advertisement as of 20 per cent (Rs 3 million approximately) but at the time of bidding the CDA accepted just 2 per cent of the total amount. This clearly shows all this was done to discourage the competitors to participate the bidding process.

Sources maintained that in the bidding process the companies were barred from offering Chinese components, which is sheer violation of the International Trade obligations and Free Trade Agreement with China. It goes
without saying that Chinese companies are world market leaders in Solar Energy components especially solar panels, sources claimed. They observed that only three days were given to the bidders for preparation of bid and submission of tender documents as per advertisement in news paper, but later on the last date was extended for couple of days without advertising in any newspaper, they added.

Sources further said that tender was given to the highest bidder and to such a company which does not have any experience. They said that at the opening of the tender it was demanded by the CAD that delivery of components must be before June 30 but after awarding the contract the favourite bidder company was given 75 days more for delivery.

Sources lamented that It is to be noted that the shortfall of electricity in the country could be named as main cause of energy crisis, which could be addressed by the public and private sectors on war footing but such govt departments complicated procedures always created hindrances in the way of any project.

Energy experts pointed out that presently several companies were working to give helping hand to the government in reducing the gulf between demand and supply of energy. They demanded the government to provide protection and level playing field for all companies working in the field of alternative energy. Experts are of the view that the building of a dam required 8 to 10 years for production and supply of power while the thermal power station though requires lesser period of time to operate, yet it is linked with draw back of air and sound pollution in addition to expensive tariff and heavy import bills.

Hence the solar energy is an instant and easy measure to overcome energy shortage in the country if encouraged by the government and its agencies.
The Nation tried to contact CDA MD Ikramullah Khan to get his view point on the issue but he did not respond.

Source: The Nation

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