Irregularities alleged in awarding Pradhanmantri Awas Yojana contract of VMCJanuary 11, 2018
Vadodara: Alleged corruption in awarding Pradhanmantri Aawas Yojana contract by Vadodara Municipal Corporation(VMC) has attracted protest by opposition Congress party in city. The city Mayor said, the Chief Minister has been informed about the matter for probe.The government has in a two line statement said, ‘some controversies regarding certain tenders and contracts related issues have been reported in Vadodara Municipal Corporation. ACS(Additional Chief Secretary) Health will hold preliminary inquiry into it and submit the report to government within a week’.
Tender for construction of housing units on 1.46 lakh square meter land in Savad area of Vadodara city was opened on March 31st last year.
Vadodara based Narayan realty private ltd and DMC Sai Ruchi company had participated in this bid through a joint venture.
As per the provisions in tender, Narayan Realty was fit to qualify and as per the agreement attached to bid, Narayan would have 51% share while DMC Sai Ruchi would have 49% share in Joint Venture.
The Municipal Commissioner had recommended this JV to award contract on April 19.
On May 25, the Standing Committee meeting of VMC had approved the contract through public private partnership(PPP) model, following which project engineer had awarded letter to Narayan realty on May 26.
The award was received by Mr. Romesh Shah on behalf of Narayan Realty. Same Mr. Shah was present on behalf of Manav Infra in pre-bid meeting. This indicated that firms had formed ring in this bid.
After issuance of award letter, a new agreement was presented on 1st June in which partnership percentage was changed. Narayan realty was allotted 15% stake instead of 51% while DMC Sai Ruch was given 85% stake.
As per the rule, if two or more companies file bid, the lead partner suitable for pre-qualification technically and financially should be lead partner with at least 51% majority stake. In this case Narayan realty was shown as lead partner first, but after the award letter, its share was changed.
On December 4 last year, Municipal Commissioner of Vadodara issued notice to Narayan Realty for termination of contract. However no action was taken later allegedly due to political intervention.
Allegation against Mayor Dangar and MLA Yogesh Patel
There is allegation that as soon as the contractors received notice, Narayan Realty’s partner Pranay Chokshi who is said to be closed to Mayor Bharat Dangar joined by BJP MLA Yogesh Patel made representation before the Chief Minister and misled him. The contract therefore was not cancelled.
MLA targets Commissioner, Mayor too says it is administration’s job
As certain news reports alleged local BJP MLA Yogesh Patel and city BJP Mayor Bharat Dangar’s involvement in this issue, Yogesh Patel today told media persons that he is going to demand vigilance inquiry before the Chief Minister. If proven guilty, he would resign from the post of MLA. If in inquiry city Commissioner Rao is proven guilty, the government will need to file criminal case against him as he has threatened media persons and political representatives. He had taken gold biscuits when he was collector. Yogesh Patel said ‘thief’ Commissioner has no righ to continue his job in Vadodara.
City Mayor Bharat Dangar said, how Rs 200 crore work can attract Rs 2,000 crore corruption? Mayor has no role in this issue. If two firms have modified their partnership percentage, what Mayor has to do with it? How VMC will suffer any loss? Action could be taken there and then when contractor submitted letter informing modification in Joint Venture on 1st June. Dangar said, the issue has been put before Chief Minister and he has asked secretary to look into it. Technical, financial bids are related to administrative wing. If there’s something wrong done on administrative side, none will be spared. Terms of tender don’t come to Standing Committee meeting or general board. That’s official’s task. One department claims that rain water carrying channel has to be built by contractor while other department claims it has to be done by VMC. Who links two departments? Rs 12-14 crore rain water carrying channel work has been stopped. This is the issue of dispute between contractors. They should not drag others into this. It is VMC administration that is responsible to see what were the norms of tender, whether contractor needs to inform VMC when profit sharing terms are modified etc. None responsible will be spared. Those into baseless discussion of Rs 2,000 crore corruption in just Rs 200 crore contract and misusing media platform will also not be spared.
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