Updated on: Thursday, November 18, 2021, 07:20 AM IST

BMC to review tender for maintenance of penguin enclosure at Byculla zoo


Following opposition from the corporators, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to review the Rs 15-crore tender for maintenance of a popular penguin enclosure at the Byculla zoo for the next three years. The civic body had extended the existing agency’s term for the second time since October.

The extension proposal will be tabled before the civic standing committee for information, today (Thursday).

The contract was awarded to M/s Highway Constructions for Rs 11.5 crore in September 2018 for three years for the upkeep of the penguin enclosure. After the contract expired on September 30 this year, the BMC extended the contract for 43 days more, starting October 1, costing Rs 45-lakh, which ended on November 12. The BMC has now given a second extension to the agency until a new contractor is shortlisted and appointed.

Officials said the earlier maintenance contract had expired and BMC was awarding an extension as the three-year tender was delayed after opposition corporators objected. A civic official said, "The contract will have to be extended until the new contractor is appointed. We do not have any other option until a new agency is appointed, we will have to provide an extension to the existing agency for proper maintenance of the penguin enclosure.

Earlier in August this year, the Mumbai civic body floated a tender for the upkeep of the penguins and their enclosure at Byculla zoo for the next 36 months.

This tender was estimated at Rs 15.26 crores.

However, the opposition party alleged that the cost had been inflated and demanded that the civic administration must create an in-house management system for the upkeep of the penguins' enclosure.

In a letter addressed to Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar and standing committee chairman Yashwant Jadhav, in September, the BJP leaders in BMC came out openly asking the authorities to revoke the contract. The leaders suggested that the staff already available with the zoo should be roped in to maintain the penguins' enclosures.

Following this, the civic administration decided to review the three-year extension tender.

The official added: "While the new tender is undergoing a review and discontinue any further extensions to the existing contractor, we have floated a tender worth Rs 35 lakh for the upkeep of penguins for a month."

The month-long contract will cover maintenance and air-conditioning of the penguin enclosure, life support, and electrical system. It will also cover the cost of veterinary staffers and supply of fish food for penguins.

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Published on: Thursday, November 18, 2021, 07:20 AM IST