Few takers for desilting garbage-choked Amayizhanjan Canal in Kerala capital, government accepts lone bid

Last week, the Kerala Cabinet cleared a proposal for undertaking the work on the canal stretch from Kannammoola to Akkulam in Thiruvananthapuram

In clearing a ₹25-crore proposal for the ‘desilting and reconstruction’ of Amayizhanjan Canal passing through the capital city, the State government has been compelled to accept a lone bid at a higher rate reportedly due to the urgent nature of the work and the lack of other takers.

Last week, the Cabinet cleared a proposal for undertaking the work on the canal stretch from Kannammoola to Akkulam. A July 9 order issued by the Water Resources Department accepting the bid by a Palakkad-based firm, reportedly the lone bidder, noted that most of the contractors were reluctant to take the work up.

The work involves side protection works and dredging, KWA sewerage line connection and conveyance of silt to a disposal site. The bid placed by M/s Cheeran Structurals for ₹24.8 crore has been accepted. The order noted that while it is 36.7% higher than the estimated PAC (probable amount of contract) of ₹18.13 crore reported by the Chief Engineer (Irrigation and Administration), tenders had been called for the work thrice and only this firm evinced interest.

”The unhygienic and filthy contents of the Amayizhanjan Thodu are causing serious health issues to the public. Most of the contractors are reluctant to take up the work. Though the government issued administrative approval more than 15 months ago, nothing happened on the ground level due to several reasons. Since this is a very urgent work, the government has been drawing criticism for the lack of effective action in mitigating the causes for city floods, that too in the capital city. Besides, the quoted rate is only 12% above the Local Market Rate,” the order noted.

According to the department, the work was twice e-tendered, in May and July last year, but only the Palakkad firm had bid. The work was again tendered in December 2020, but only the same firm had shown up.

Deal this week

”We expect to sign the agreement this week,” said Alex Varghese, Chief Engineer (Irrigation and Administration). The nature of the wastes that need to be removed from the canal could have been a deterrent for other firms, he said.

As per the approval given by the Cabinet, the government also plans to purchase a silt pusher machine that will be used for desilting canals, including Amayizhanjan Canal.

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