The Bharatiya Janata Party-led state government deferred its plan to distribute three lakh bicycles among Class 9 girl students in the state on August 15 as the bikes were not painted in the “correct” shade of orange. The government has floated fresh tenders and is likely to distribute the bicycles on Republic Day (January 26) next year.
Chief minister Vasundhara Raje had sanctioned Rs 83 crore during the state budget for distribution of cycles among girl students to reduce school drop out rate. A recent report of the District Information System for School Education (DISE 2014-15) puts the drop out rate among girls in the primary level at 8.39%, as compared to 7.76% in boys.
The state government has also decided to distribute laptops among 27,900 meritorious students of Classes 8, 10 and 12. Rs 60 crore has been sanctioned for the scheme.
In 2012-13, the Congress government had proposed to distribute cycles among girl students, but the party had not specified any colour.
Just a week before Independence Day this year, a state-level purchase committee formed to review the technical bidding process rejected the tenders on August 8.
“We had asked the bidders/manufacturers to supply orange-coloured bicycles, but the samples they offered failed (to match our requirement) so we invited fresh short-term e-tenders,” said Rajasthan’s director of elementary education, JC Purohit. The bids will to open on August 31.
According to sources, the cycles also did not meet the required weight and some other specifications.
Not up to the mark
Tenders were filed by A1 Cycle Limited, TI Cycle of India, Hero Cycle Limited, SK Bikes Limited and Seth Industrial Corporation.
The purchase committee noted that the cycle samples given by SK Bikes Limited and Seth Industrial Corporation did not have orange frame, mud guard, fork and van cover violating the tender norms
It found that the sample cycle given by Hero Cycle was not as per the tender conditions and the sample given by A1 Cycle was orange and black instead of orange as stipulated in the tender conditions.