ISLAMABAD: Three private companies have entered into litigation against a contract awarded for waste collection in the capital.

The petitioner firms, Nasir Jan and Co., National Cleaning Services and Maqsood and Co. have challenged the award of the contract to Anas Brothers Enterprises.

According to the contract, the Metropolitan Corporation of Islamabad (MCI) has hired the services of Anas Brothers Enterprises to clean, sweep and collect solid waste and garbage in various sectors in the city for Rs55 million per month.

The petitioners have approached the court to declare the process of procuring the company’s services for G-6, G-7, G-8, G-9, G-10, G-11, I-8, I-10, the Expressway and other areas.

The petitioners have been collecting waste in Islamabad for several years.

According to the petition, the MCI floated a tender on June 21 inviting expressions of interest from local and international firms and consortiums for the privatisation and procurement of cleaning services in three packages in the aforementioned sectors.

The petition claimed that the entire process of inviting bids to procure the services for cleaning, sweeping, collection and transportation of solid waste and garage vide three packages violates articles 4, 18, 19-A and 25 of the Constitution.

The petition said the MCI issued a letter of intent (LOI) to Anas Brothers Enterprises on Sept 2. It claimed that the LOI was given a verbal assurance by the MCI with reference to the award of the contract and was accordingly handed over the field to perform the work.

In the performance of the work, the most important factor is the vehicles, which are owned and controlled by the concerned. The petition said the respondent company does not have any experience in performing such a contract, i.e. waste management services, and does not possess any vehicles and machinery to perform these functions.

The petition alleged that the company has submitted forged and fake documents on vehicles and machinery, which it verified from the Excise and Taxation Department.

So far, the MCI has not started the documentary and physical verification of the vehicles and machinery identified by the company in its documents.

The financial capability and standing of the company is also questionable and does not fulfil the criteria enforced by the MCI on others, the petition alleged. It added that the foregoing showed that the MCI was working with the company.

The petition subsequently expressed apprehensions that the MCI would allow the use of government vehicles and machinery, since the company does not own its own equipment requirement for waste management.

It said the advertisement and process of procuring the services was illegal, unconstitutional and in violation of procurement rules. It claimed that it was an infringement of constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights and a glaring examples of discrimination, favouritism and nepotism.

The petition said that by not providing sufficient time for procuring documents and sharing evaluation reports, the MCI awarded the contract to Anas Brothers Enterprises through a selective bidding process and favouritism rather than open competitive bidding process.

The petition claimed that the entire procurement process reeks of mala fide and prima facie is not in the interest of the public at large, and is motivated and aimed at facilitating MCI’s favoured individuals.

The petition asked the court to scrap the award of garbage collection to this company.

Published in Dawn, September 17th, 2020