The Kerala High Court has stayed the tenders floated by the Kerala State Electricity Board to procure electric poles of 8 m length and a working load of 140 kg.
It was on a public interest litigation seeking to quash the tender notification that the court issued the order.
The Electricity Board invited competitive bids for the manufacture and supply of 8 m and 9 m poles for various electrical circles in southern, central, northern and north Malabar regions for a period of two years. The total contract was for ₹254 crore.
The petitioners contended that the tender conditions were against the specifications prescribed by the Rural Electrification Corporation as well as the orders passed by the Board regarding the working load of poles. They contended that the tender notifications jeopardised the safety and lives of people. The Safety Commissioner of the Board had earlier reported that accidents due to the breakage of poles were increasing at an alarming rate in the State, they submitted.
They submitted that the Rural Electrification Corporation of India Ltd. had specified that a working load of 200 kg was required for an electric pole of 8 m length. All States, except Kerala, were following the revised specifications while installing 8-m poles, they submitted.
The court issued orders for issuing notices to the State government and the Board.