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Blacklisted Agency Picked For Safety Check Of Bridges | Ahmedabad News – Times of India

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Ahmedabad: The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation has appointed a consulting agency that has been blacklisted by the Surat Municipal Corporation for the subsidence of a bridge carriageway two months ago. The agency will inspect bridges in Ahmedabad and certify their safety status.
The agency, Geo-Designs & Research Pvt Ltd, had worked as the project management consultant for the bridge in the Ved-Variayav area of Surat which collapsed two months ago. In July this year, two weeks after the subsidence was observed, the SMC blacklisted the agency for two years. However, in May the AMC had selected Geo-Design & Research Pvt Ltd as one of the two consultants for inspection of 82 bridges and flyovers in the city, without a tender process.
AMC officials argue that as the SMC had not blacklisted the consultant in May, it was selected for the bridge inspection work in Ahmedabad and was issued a work order. Sources in the AMC said the civic body had floated a tender for this work but did not bother to open bids and hurriedly appointed two consultants in May.
In March, the state road and building department asked all civic authorities to get bridges inspected. The department itself appointed a seven-member panel to inspect bridges built in its jurisdiction. In April, the AMC selected three consultants from this seven-member panel, which included Multimedia Consultant Pvt Ltd, Casad Consultant Pvt Ltd and Pankaj M Patel Consultant Pvt Ltd.
However, the standing committee of the AMC cancelled the appointment of the three-member panel it had approved on April 17, as Multimedia Consultant Pvt Ltd was found guilty of shoddy work on the Mumatpura flyover, where a portion of the bridge had collapsed. The AMC then issued a tender to appoint a consulting panel, but while the process was underway, it selected two consultants on its own. These were Geo-Design & Research Pvt Ltd and Pankaj M Patel Consultant Pvt Ltd.
The panel, which was to inspect all 82 bridges before the monsoon, has so far visually inspected 55 bridges and flyovers. Geo-Design & Research Pvt Ltd has inspected 28 bridges and the rest have been inspected by Pankaj M Patel Consultant Pvt Ltd. “As the tender process was taking too long, the AMC created a panel and selected Geo-Design & Research Pvt Ltd and Pankaj M Patel Consultant Pvt Ltd to inspect bridges in the city. Geo-Design & Research Pvt Ltd was later blacklisted by SMC but at that time the AMC had already issued the work order for the inspection. Work orders cannot be retracted,” an official of the AMC’s roads and building department told TOI.

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