Kolhapur (KOP): Despite the poor response to its tender for construction of a foot overbridge (FOB) connecting Kolhapur railway station with Rajarampuri, the Central Railway has floated the tender again without any change in the conditions. However, the authorities could not explain how the fresh tender will attract bidders when the previous one had failed do so.
The Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj station has just one FOB which connects platform number 2 and 3. As there is no official entry to the station from the Rajarampuri-Shahupuri side, a new FOB has been in demand for several years. Currently, passengers from the Shahupuri and Rajarampuri areas have to take a long route to come to the station road, which leads to congestion at the main gate.
Shivnath Biyani, member of the zonal railway users’ consultant committee said, “It is surprising that when there is huge demand for construction of such FOBs there are no takers for the bids. If some minor changes are required in the tendering procedure, the railways should do it and float a tender that can be practical.”
The Rs 1.6-crore tender for construction of the FOB was first published on December 13, last year. The tender also includes construction of a gate near Gokul hotel, which will enable passengers to enter platform no. 2. Currently, all the passengers have to reach the station road to enter the station and it takes longer time.
The tender published on April 3, this year has revised the construction cost to Rs 2.2 crore which includes construction of the foot overbridge, one booking counter and a gate for platform no. 2. The bids can be submitted during April 30 to May 6.
Senior railway authorities, meanwhile, denied the possibility of the tender being impractical or having any clauses discouraging the contractors.
Assistant commercial manager-II of Pune division B Arun Kumar, who is having the additional charge of the public relations officer, said: “The tender was issued around three months ago and we got a query from one company, which was not fulfilling the criteria.”
Kumar admitted that a clause in the previous tender was that the applicant agency should have some experience in construction. This clause was very tough and the applicant company did not comply with it.
When asked about the fresh tender, he said, “There is no change in this tender from the previous one. But we are hopeful of getting good response to the tender.”