Cooler worth Rs 8496 procured at Rs 79,000 by the civic body, Pen worth Rs 4 purchased for 34
Nagpur: The Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has turned out to be a den for scams as one or another fraud comes to light on regular intervals. Even as din over the Bogus Contracts Scam could settle down, the civic body has been hit by allegations of procurement scam. NMC procured 14 items at much higher price than the market value.
According to Congress Corporator Sandip Sahare, who obtained information under RTI Act, alleged the civic body procured 14 items at rates 2 to 26 times higher than market prices. In one case, 120-litre air coolers available in the market for Rs 8,496 were procured at the rate of Rs 79,000, said Sahare.
Citing the RTI reply, the Congress Corporator said, “Bogus contracts and procurement of materials at very high cost have been going on in NMC for last 15 years. I obtained documents under RTI Act in 2019 about procurement of various types of materials. Then, I purchased same materials from the market and compared the costs. An executive pen stand was procured at Rs 2,995, which was available in market at only Rs 115.”
The comparative difference between NMC’s purchase rate and the market price:
Materials purchased NMC’s rate Market value
* Exhaust cooler (40-litre) Rs 59,000 Rs 8024
* Exhaust cooler (120-litre) Rs 79,000 Rs 8496
* Dot pen Rs 9.50 Rs 1.95
* U-Pin with plastic coat Rs 198 Rs 22
* Gel Pen Rs 34 Rs 4
* Table writing stand (4 pcs) Rs 4450 Rs 1400
* Gum Bottle Rs 150 Rs 36
* Signature pad Rs 60 Rs 14
* Stapler Pin Packet Rs 13 Rs 6.20
* Stapler Machine Rs 108 Rs 38
* Fevigum Stick Rs 50.90 Rs 12
* Casio/Citizen Calculator Rs 785 Rs 440
Sahare claimed that obviously the NMC purchased the items at a price 8-10 times more than the market price. There is a vast difference between the NMC rate and the market price. The scam has been exposed by the information sought under RTI Act. All these materials were purchased between July 13, 2017 and October 9, 2017, Sahare said alleging a major scam perpetrated by the concerned authorities.
Meanwhile, the NMC administration has told the Standing Committee that the latter has no power to constitute an inquiry to probe the Stationery Scam or Bogus Contracts Scam. The Standing Committee headed by Prakash Bhoyar had on December 22 passed a resolution to constitute a three-member committee of its members to probe all contracts approved in the last five years.
On December 17, the Municipal Commissioner Radhakrishnan B had constituted a seven-member committee headed by Additional Municipal Commissioner Deepak Kumar Meena to conduct an inquiry and submit a report within seven days. The committee is yet to submit its report.