Monday, June 21, 2010

Rs 33-cr Commonwealth Games’ kitchen bill, and that’s just for the dishes

When the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee said they will leave a legacy behind, may be kitchen equipment worth Rs 12 crore was not what they had in mind. With much time lost on deliberation, the OC will now have to buy the entire kitchenware for the event, earlier supposed to be rented at a much lower rate.

The expression of interest for the catering tender was floated on June 27, 2008, following which 25 players submitted their bids. The tenders were sent out in August and the bid was won by consortium of Australian firm Delaware North, Indian firm Taj Stats and PKL London, the world leaders in kitchen equipment rental. PKL London was to supply kitchen equipment on rental basis as part of the same catering budget — in the original contract the total allocation for equipment was just Rs 20 crore.

However, the bid was cancelled months later on the excuse that the firm did not pay the earnest money of around Rs 30 lakh. A fresh tender was floated on February 3 this year and the same consortium won the bid, but without PKL London.

“The first time the award was won by a consortium of Delaware North, Taj Stats and PKL London. The second time around PKL opted out of the consortium due to their prior commitments. We have since signed a contract with both the caterers and PKL London separately,” said Organising Committee spokesperson Lalit Bhanot.

Sources said the separate contract with PKL was needed as Delaware North said only PKL must supply the kitchen equipment. “Delaware North had clearly stated that it won’t be able to work in case kitchen equipment is supplied by anyone else. So we did not have choice but to sign a contract with them,” said a senior OC official.

But, complicating matters, PKL has refused to give the equipment on hire. “They claimed they have already pledged their equipment elsewhere and will not be able to rent them to us. So now we have to purchase all the required equipment from their warehouse,” added the official.

Now, without floating a tender or looking at other options, a contract has been signed with PKL for supply of equipment costing close to Rs 12 crore. The OC will also have to foot a bill of around Rs 10 crore for shipping and another Rs 11 crore for installation. Total cost: Rs 33 crore.

This comes at a time when the OC is struggling with the catering expenses. When the tenders were initially floated the cost was pegged at Rs 60 crore by Ernst & Young. Now, the contract for just the Games Village is going above Rs 100 crore. The Games Village kitchen will produce 2,500 meals each day.

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