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Call for bids for Vadodara riverfront project opposed: Experts seek consultation

By Our Representative
A concerned citizens’ letter to the Municipal Commissioner, Vadodara, with copies to senior environment and forests officials of the Gujarat government and the Government of India, has taken strong exception to continuation of the local authorities’ decision to continue with the bid for preparing project report for the "rejuvenation" the Vishwamitri river, passing through the city. It says, the bids have been invited even though there have been no “pre-bid meetings and involvement of local expertise and know-how”.
Signed, among others, by environmentalist Rohit Prajapati, urban planner Neha Sarwate, landscape architect Dr Shishir R Raval, civil engineer Rutvik Tank, wetland ecologist Dr Deepa Gavali, hydro-geologist Dr Jayendra Lakhmapurkar, and botanist Dr Jitendra Gavali, the letter states, “We strongly believe that Vishwamitri river and Vadodara city deserve much better. The proposed project and its current tender ought to be reconsidered.”
Seeking revised current terms of reference to include thorough studies on community, ecosystem, and landscape ecology as well as human and social ecology to determine the project by involving experts, the letter wants the authorities to prohibit “previously hired consultants from participating” in it. The bids should be invited after conducting a pre-bid meeting to add transparency to the “selection procedure”, it adds.

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