Stay On Controversial Swiss Challenge May Further Delay Amaravati Bidding Process

The High Court has also observed that there’re irregularities and the model lacks transparency. - Sakshi Post

Hyderabad: In what could be a major blow to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, the latest High Court’s order staying the government’s controversial ‘Swiss Challenge’ model may further delay creating a new capital city in Amaravati by Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA). Swiss Challenge notification is deemed to be canceled after the High Court’s stay order. In the stay order, High Court halted
all activities pertaining to Swiss Challenge model. AP Government filed a lunch motion petition, but it was rejected. Now, the
TDP government is planning to move Supreme Court.

After two years of AP bifurcation, the Andhra Pradesh government has taken up plans for constructing new capital city.

Swiss Challenge notification is deemed to be canceled after the High Court’s stay order. In the stay order, High Court halted all activities pertaining to Swiss Challenge model. It’s learnt that AP Government is considering to file lunch motion petition on Wednesday.

But, the latest stay order and controversial Swiss Challenge model are likely to delay the project. By adopting Swiss Challenge model, the TDP government has roped in a Singapore consortium, which holds 58 percent stake in the project and rest of 42 by the state government. However, Justice MS Ramachandra Rao of the Hyderabad High Court on Monday stayed the process.

The Hyderabad High Court stayed the Swiss Challenge model after hearing petitions filed by Aditya Housing Company and Envian Engineering Pvt Ltd, which charged the state with acting with a pre-determined mind to hand over the contract to the Singapore consortium.

The High Court has also observed that there’re irregularities and the model lacks transparency. The Court has directed the AP government to file counter bids by September 13.
They told the court that the conditions prescribed suit only the Singapore firm and no Indian builder would even qualify for it.

Attorney general Mukul Rohatgi, who on behalf of the state and Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA), informed the High Court that the capital construction was not the job of a mere builder and that no Indian company would be able to take it up.
Rohatgi further said that there’s exception to firms such as L&T.

He added that the construction major was one of the bidders, and it did not raise any objection to the tender process.
Rohatgi further informed the Court that these Indian builders have defaulted rather than being good builders.

However, the Court observed that the method calls for disclosing the proposal put forward by the Singapore consortium. The government should invite competing bids (challenges) from the competitors, the decision of the state to not reveal the revenue sharing model offered by the consortium deprived the interested parties of making a counter challenge.

Under the Swiss Challenge method, the CRDA should receive the proposal from the original project proponent, it should then be referred to the infrastructure authority and then to the state government.


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