M.Seetharama Murti, J. -
(1.)This writ petition, under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, is filed by the petitioner assailing the action of the 2nd respondent in issuing the memo, dated 08.01.2019, whereby the allotment of works to the petitioner are withdrawn for calling for fresh tenders.
(2.)I have heard the submissions of Sri P. Venugopal, learned senior counsel, representing Sri P. Nagendra Reddy, learned counsel appearing for the writ petitioner, and of learned Government Pleader for Panchayat Raj & Rural Development appearing for the respondents. I have perused the material record.
(3.)The case of the petitioner is this: - 'The Government by GORt.no.430 PR & RD (RWS.I) Department, dated 14.05.2018, accorded administrative sanction for the work 'providing Solar base dual pump piped water supply scheme in 92 tribal habitations and works in 7 Constituencies in Srikakulam District' at an estimated cost of Rs.687 lakhs under State Development Scheme (SDS) TSP programme. Rate contract tenders were called for vide tender notice no.11/2018-19, dated 23.05.2018, of the Chief Engineer, IV, RWS & S Department on e-procurement platform. The said tenders are invited from registered manufactures of Solar PV Water Pumping Systems who are either MNRE (Ministry of New & Renewable Energy) Channel partners or registered SPV system suppliers with NREDCAP (New & Renewable Energy Development Corporation of Andhra Pradesh) for the year 2017-18 or 2018-19 and having valid MNRE test certificates for modes/products/components with Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM)/BIS/IEC compliance for Solar Energy Based Dual Pump Piped Water Supply Schemes under the State Development Scheme/NRDWP in collaboration with RWS & S, Govt., of Andhra Pradesh in about 92 villages/habitations in Srikakulam district(s) of the State & balance in other districts. The Superintending Engineer concerned is the tender opening authority and the tender documents were made available online from 13.06.2018 to 26.06.2018. The petitioner and others submitted their tender bids. Eventually, after the evaluation process, some of the bidders were disqualified for various reasons, that is, for not meeting the eligibility criteria. Since the petitioner is the lowest bidder, that is, L1, the Superintending Engineer [SE] concerned entered into Articles of Agreement, dated 18.07.2018 with the petitioner as per the directions of the Chief Engineer [CE] concerned. Later the 1st respondent issued GORt.no.926, dated 24.07.2018, and granted administrative sanction for Rs.6982.50 lakhs (Rupees Six thousand Nine hundred and eighty two lakhs and fifty thousands only) for providing 931 solar based dual pump piped water supply scheme in tribal habitations of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam and East Godavari Districts to supply protected drinking water in the interior tribal habitations under NRDWP (TSP) with 50:50 Central and State Share in the financial year 2018-19. Later, the 2nd respondent issued memo, dated 25.07.2018, allotting 118 units in Srikakulam District, 26 units in Vizianagaram District and 655 units in Visakhapatnam and 36 units in East Godavari District. After allotment of the units, respondents 3 to 5 and the Superintendent, Visakhapatnam addressed letter, dated 30.07.2018, to the petitioner directing the petitioner to submit Rs.100 stamp paper, bank guarantee towards security deposit fee and bank guarantee towards performance guarantee fee. On the same day, the petitioner obtained bank guarantee and submitted the same along with stamp paper to the respondents 3 to 5. The agreement has to be executed by the SE concerned of each District with the petitioner. The petitioner signed on the agreements prepared by the respondents 3 to 5 and handed over the same for signatures of respondents 3 to 5 and SE, Visakhapatnam. The agreement in respect of Visakhapatnam District was concluded. The SE signed on the agreement and concluded the same. Later, the petitioner commenced the work and completed 50% of the civil works. However, due to interim orders, dated 03.08.2018, in IA.no.1 of 2018 in WP.no.26704 of 2018, the petitioner could not complete the works. Once the respondents 3 to 5 sign on the agreements, the petitioner company can start the work and finish the same within the specified time. Since time is fixed for completing the works and the target is very short, the petitioner engaged the workers and other staff, procured material by investing huge amount and was waiting for the completion of the signatures of respondents 3 to 5 in the agreements. But the respondents 3 to 5 did not sign on the agreements and therefore the petitioner company could not commence the work. Nubmer of times, the petitioner requested the respondents 3 to 5 to sign on the agreements so that the petitioner can start the works in all the units. But, without assigning any reasons, respondents 3 to 5 kept quiet and did not sign on the agreements. The petitioner is waiting for the signatures of the respondents 3 to 5 on the agreements. While things stood thus, the 2nd respondent issued the impugned memo withdrawing the allotment of works and calling for fresh tenders for the reason that the respondents 3 to 5 informed that the agreements are not concluded till date. On that ground, allotted works are also withdrawn. There is no fault on the part of the petitioner in concluding the agreements. Even the agreements prepared were signed by the petitioner and were handed over for the purpose of signatures of respondents 3 to 5. However, the said respondents did not sign on the said agreements. No notice was issued prior to withdrawing the allotted works and no opportunity was provided to the petitioner. The respondents are aware that the petitioner mobilized machinery & material, engaged staff to complete the task within the specified time by investing huge amounts. The petitioner is required to start the work as and when respondents 3 to 5 sign the agreements. However, the agreements are not signed for no valid reasons. The petitioner made complaints against respondents 3 to 5 to the 2nd respondent for not concluding the agreements. 2nd respondent did not take any action in the matter. Hence, the present writ petition is filed.'