Published On : Tue, Apr 12th, 2016

RTI reply nails nasty affairs of NMC’s Public Works Deptt and a key contractor

Skeletons continue to tumble down from every NMC cupboard. A close study of an RTI reply the Public Works Department of NMC provided has revealed a damning fact when the Regional Secretary of Akhil Bharatiya Manavadhikar Nigrani Samiti put up a RTI query to the local body.

Notably, the Regional Secretary of Samiti Lalsingh Thakur has been doing the postmortem of shabby e-governance system being run in Nagpur Municipal Corporation and thus exposing the tenders being sold manually through “auction” system rather frequently. Thakur, in order to expose the shady affairs, had been shooting letters to the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, Mayor Pravin Datke, Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar and even to the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) but in vain.

Not to be bogged down, Thakur decided to use RTI weapon and posed a query to Public Works Department of NMC on the “activities” of President of NMC Contractors Association Vijay Naidu and his Baba Construction Company. Sources said that upon receiving the RTI query, PWD’s Deputy Engineer D D Jambhulkar reportedly apprised Naidu about the query and gathered the necessary information for hours. The set of information was later forwarded to Thakur through ther so-called PRO Ashok Kolhatkar.

Lalsingh Thakur, who had just started scanning the RTI reply, was left amazed to a find a piece of information among other facts. The President of NMC Contractors Association Vijay Naidu has shown two other contractors of NMC Bhupesh C Sontakke and Sanjay Mupidwar as his employees. According to rules and regulations, it is absolutely illegal practice. Despite this illegal practice, how the Executive Engineer and Deputy Engineer of PWD “entertaining” Vijay Naidu is beyond understanding. Are these two babus hand in glove with the contractor in his “tender fixing” acts?  has the PR Department of NMC become a tool to take the RTI reply to the seeker’s destination by using NMC vehicle? Is this a ‘Smart City’?

Another fact that came to the fore is more amazing. Vijay Naidu, who was “playing” in Rs 4 lakh contract field just 3-4 years ago, is now suddenly bagging contracts for Rs 1.25 crore works. This “transformation” is surely a subject of an in-depth investigation.

– By Rajeev Ranjan Kushwaha