The civic bosses at the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) have finally owned up to financial irregularities in allocation of contracts for installation of trident lights in city.
The same was made obvious after mayor Sovan Chatterjee on Friday directed the municipal commissioner Khalil Ahmed to issue a showcause notice to the director general (electrical) Gautam Pattanaik, seeking a reply on why administrative approval for spot tendering of trident lights was not taken from the concerned authorities.
"After taking up the issue at length at our mayor-in-council meeting, I directed the municipal commissioner to issue a showcause notice to the DG (electrical)," Chatterjee told reporters on Friday.
However, the alleged malfeasance over the trident light project was not part of the agenda at the mayor-in-council meet, but was later accommodated as an additional item for discussion. Once discussions moved to the trident issue, the meeting reportedly took a stormy turn, with the members, mayor-in-council speaking in different voices.
Rupa Bagchi, leader of opposition at the KMC, said, "The move clearly vindicates our claim of financial irregularities regarding Trident project."
The mayor now wants the DG (electrical) to cite reasons why he didn’t opt for other such alternatives as tender barta (KMC’s official tender book) or put the details of allocation of contracts on the KMC web portal.
Seeking to defend the move to split the project, estimated at Rs. 27 crore, into 540 files, the mayor said, "It is very much within the rules of KMC Act to spilt work. But that requires administrative approval, which, in this case, wasn’t sought by the engineer."