The long pending purchase tender of turn table ladder for NMCs Fire Department has snowballed into another controversy with Mayor Praveen Datke turning the heat on just relieved NMC Commissioner Shyam Wardhane for deliberately creating hurdles in giving approval to the said tender. Sources alleged that ‘under the table commission of 20% to be distributed among the officials for clearing the file has been the bone of contention behind the delay. Insiders claimed that NMC authorities have been allegedly trying to affirm their ‘cut by invoking roadblocks in the way of smooth processing of the said tender.
NMC sources alleged that Wardhane had misused his power to create hurdles in the purchase of turn table ladder, while Datke pulled up Wardhane saying that the latter deliberately placed a negative note on the proposal despite the fact that all the papers were fit to contest the process smoothly.
Sources said the tender process has been severely mired into the commission game, owing to which the proposal has been awaiting clearance for the last 4-5 years. The tenure of 4 Standing Committee Chairmen has ended since the proposal was brought to the fore. Surprisingly only one company has participated in the tender process. The office-bearers and authorities in the civic body have been allegedly trying to stake their claim in the 20% commission to be received from the company owner, sources claimed.
The Fire Department has been severely facing the dearth of turn table ladder (TTL) in order to gain efficiency in its performance. However two municipal commissioners including Wardhane have changed the duties, scanning the concerned file, but nothing fruitful could be yielded on this front.
The tender has once again stuck in the way as Wardhane was shifted as head of NIT to make way for new Commission Hardikar.
Mayor Datke initiated the move to release global tender three times for the said purpose which cost the exchequer about Rs 25 lakh, as the global tender is required to be published in both national and international newspapers as per the NMC tender rules. Surprisingly, similar company came forth with the proposal. The company has so far supplied over 100 turn table ladders. Despite the merit of experience, the company has been struggling to get through the process.
Sources informed that the NMC officials are remarkably delaying the process, despite an urgent need of TTL in view of rapidly increasing high-rise buildings within the citys periphery. Also the Fire Departments expanse of duty has been extended to rural areas. The civic body has earmarked Rs 6 crores for purchasing TTL, but the tender approval is yet to see the light of the day.
Norms framed to favour Company!
Insiders revealed that both the post-bearers and officials in NMC have adapted to misguiding ways in order to secure their ‘cut’. Sources added that even the company vying to win the tender is the sole entry in the whole process. Only one company participated in the tender process on all the occasion, however it could not be okayed for the tussle among the officials over sharing of 20% commission.
Reliable sources informed that the rules of the tender for turn table ladder has been deliberately tweaked to favour the particular company. “The parameters have been manipulated to keep it such that only the concerned company can fulfill those norms and turn out to be the sole participant,” added the source.