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Thursday, August 11, 2022

GTDC’s Naval Museum: Corporation finds fault in highest bidder, but drags its feet on awarding contract to second highest

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Panaji: Goa Tourism Development Corporation’s project of ‘Development Operations and Maintenance of Naval Museum along with Toy Train and Environmental Park’ at Miramar has run into a controversy.

Holidays in Goa, a consortium of the companies, which had bid highest for the project has been issued show cause notice by GTDC pointing out to the discrepancies in the documents submitted as lead bidder.

Interestingly, while the notice has been served in December 2021, the GTDC has failed to cancel the contract and award it to the second highest bidder, despite the lead bidder failing to address the queries.

The delay is despite the fact that GTDC itself has mentioned in the notice that “in case the documents are not submitted on or before 27.12.2021 by 1500 hours, the GTDC shall proceed as deemed fit in the matter.”

As per the documents seen by Goanewshub, the GTDC has pointed out at least eleven discrepancies in the tender document submitted by “Holidays in Goa.”

Several mandatory provisions in the tender seems to have not been abided by the lead bidder, as per the notice of the GTDC.

One of the most important criteria of experience to transport the Aircraft has been violated. As per the invoice submitted by the Consortium, the item being transported was “not an Aircraft” rather the Aluminum scrap of an Aircraft was taken, which is contrary to the Tender being conducted.

The GTDC has asked the company to clarify on this aspect.

The GTDC has also noticed that there was discrepancies in the documents submitted of the “Navy Experts”. The date of retirement of one of the Navy expert mentioned in the Tender and that on his Identity Card is not matching. In another case, the signature of the Navy Expert is not matching with his original one.

The GTDC Manager Pravin Faldesai in the notice issued has said that none of the experience certificates submitted by the Consortium have signature of issuing authority making them legally invalid.

The corporation has also pointed out that as per the documents, cash sales tax invoice dated 12.01.2020 submitted by Consortium, it is mentioned that amount of Rs 42,28,000 was paid by the buyer whereas as per Section 269ST of the Income Tax Act, the cash transaction limit is set at Rs 2 lakh only.

While the bidder has shown the bill of M/s Moni Ji Enterprise to vouch for their experience of transporting Aircrafts, the GTD C has pointed out that no exclusive vendor agreement between M/s Holidays in Goa and M/s Moni Ji Entreprises in the relation to dismantling, transportation and reassembly of the Aircraft is submitted by consortium.

While the Tendering documents had clearly said that if highest bidder is disqualified, the tender would be awarded to the second highest bidder, the GTDC has been dragging its feet on the clause, thereby delaying the commissioning of the project.

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