Kochi Corporation not to bear legacy waste biomining expenses

Civic body cannot spare ₹54 crore quoted by the consortium for the project, says Mayor

UDF councillors in the Kochi Corporation raised issues about the consortium that qualified in the technical bid for biomining of legacy waste at Brahmapuram, saying that the cost quoted was too high for the civic agency to pay, and that the consortium did not have the necessary experience to take up biomining.

Mayor M. Anilkumar agreed that the civic body does not have the funds to shell out ₹54 crore for biomining, the financial bid submitted by the consortium that won the technical bid. The corporation has only handed over the task of quantifying the waste to NIT-Kozhikode, he said.

UDF councillors opposed the tender process initiated by the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) for biomining. “The company that qualified, Zonta Infratech, has not carried out biomining anywhere else, though the criteria in the request for proposal specifies that they should have executed a similar project, along with at least one similar project worth ₹10 crore. But they have only taken up capping of waste, and have requested that the financial criteria be reduced from ₹10 crore to ₹8 crore,” said Antony Kureethara, Opposition Leader. Opposition councillors said the company had submitted evidence of having taken up a project worth around ₹8 crore, and only a few bills adding up to the remaining amount.

Besides, three companies had participated in the process, and Zonta Infratech quoted the highest figure of ₹54 crore, said UDF councillor Minimol V.K. “A lower bid of ₹32 crore was also put forth by another company,” she added. “The company had taken up work in Bengaluru, including the setting up of around 200 underground bins, at ₹54 crore, but a probe was initiated against it for non-completion,” she said.

The consortium of Zonta Infratech Pvt. Ltd. and Bauer GmbH, Germany, had qualified in the technical bid for biomining.

The project is a huge liability for the corporation that is already struggling to manage its finances, said Aristottil M.G., UDF councillor. “If the amount is deducted from the civic agency’s Plan fund, it would be a blow to the corporation’s finances,” he added.

Mr. Anilkumar said the corporation had made no commitment yet towards paying for biomining.

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