The tender advertisement published by the health department on Thursday
Is the health department serious at all in completing projects mooted by it? Or it floats tenders just for the sake of it?
Questions such as these are bound to crop if one goes through the fresh tender advertisement floated by the health, medical education and family welfare department on Thursday for undertaking four construction works worth above Rs 100 crore on Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) premises.
The notice, which has been published in newspapers and the government’s official website, clearly mentions in big, bold Hindi that the tender may be cancelled at any stage without giving any explanation (“Niwida bina karan batayein kabhi bhi radd ki jasakti hain”) under the head “Note”.
Though there is nothing wrong with the clause as all government tenders have the provision of cancelling the process at any stage, departments don’t usually put it on paper.
Hence, one cannot help but wonder whether the proposed projects — a paramedical school and paramedical council office worth Rs 7,27,81,000; a 100-bed paying ward worth Rs 18,02,00,000; boys and girls hostels worth Rs 62,85,00,000; and a multi-storeyed parking lot for Rs 12,17,00,000 — would meet the same fate as that of the hospital’s super-specialty wing. Recently, the health department cancelled the tender process of selecting an agency to run the section in which globally renowned Dr Naresh Trehan’s Medanta was one of the bidders in the final stage.
Contacted, officiating director of RIMS Dr S.K. Choudhary said, “This declaration is always there in tenders.”
Asked whether it indicates that the department wants only selective applicants, he said: “No, it is not like that.”
But as these works are being sponsored by the government, they come under the Right to Information (RTI) Act and applicants can seek reasons if there is any cancellation.
“If asked, answers would be given,” was the clipped comment from Choudhary.
Highly places sources said the instruction to carry the declaration had come from the higher authorities.
Health minister Rajendra Prasad Singh said: “These issues do not come to me. Please talk to the department concerned.”