Published On : Sat, Mar 5th, 2016

‘Managed tenders’ denting NMC coffers in crores, says a letter shot to CM

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The letter, sent by the Regional Chairman of All India Human Rights Monitoring Committee Lal Singh Thakur, urged the Chief Minister to set up an independent agency to probe the aforementioned illegal practice of ‘managing the tenders’ in Nagpur Municipal Corporation.

Nagpur: The Regional Secretary of All India Human Rights Monitoring Committee Lal Singh Thakur on Saturday shot a letter to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and apprised him of a dubious practice being adopted in NMC on “managing the tenders.” The letter said that every year tenders worth Rs 200 crore are floated in NMC. With this trend, tenders worth approximately Rs 1000 crore were floated since the past five years. However, tenders worth Rs 100 crore each year were ‘monitored’ and ‘managed’ by the NMC Contractors Association and its chief from their specially allotted chamber in NMC. Incidentally, the Mayor, Municipal Commissioner and other concerned officials were/are aware of this blatantly illegal practice,” alleged the letter.

NMC pic

According to Thakur, each year on an average 20-30 percent ‘below rate tenders’ are accepted and thus the NMC is put to loss at Rs 20-30 crore each year due to “management” of tenders worth Rs 100 crore. Had the NMC administration been alert the civic body could have earned or saved Rs 100-150 crore in the past five years. The amount could have been used in several development works successfully without depending on outer loans. Today, the NMC is forced to procure loans for carrying out development works. The tender system is formulated so that more and more development works are undertaken in lesser and lesser public money. The tender system sparks fair competition among contactors within the ambit of rules and regulations, said the letter sent to Fadnavis.

The letter urged the Chief Minister to set up an independent agency to probe the aforementioned illegal practice of ‘managing the tenders’ and a stern action be initiated against the guilty. Otherwise whenever an opposition party comes to power then a committee like Nandlal Committee would expose the scam on the line of a sports material scam in the past. If you failed to act, we will be forced to knock doors of courts for curbing the illegal practice.

Notably, when Nagpur Today approached the Economic Offences Wing of Crime Branch and urged it to raid the spot (chamber of NMC Contractors Association) and initiate a concrete action to curb the practice the authorities there said that there is no law in Maharashtra to curb a financial scam at initial stage. There is only law to recover the scam amount. Moreover, since NMC is a government department the police suo motu cannot raid it. Unless NMC files a written complaint we cannot initiate any action.
On the other hand, a flip-flop kind of attitude is being witnessed among NMC officials to curb the illegal practice. It is learnt that one of the top NMC officials is contemplating to hand over the tender system to State Government’s mahatender.com.

– RAJEEV RANJAN KUSHWAHA ( rajeev.nagpurtoday@gmail.com )