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Govt may take action against MTNL

mumbai Updated: Aug 08, 2012 01:42 IST
Sayli Udas Mankikar
Sayli Udas Mankikar
Hindustan Times
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The delay caused by the dispute among partners in the consortium that qualified for the bid to install a CCTV-surveillance system in Mumbai might prompt the state government to take legal action against Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL), a partner in the consortium.

This might also lead to re-bidding which in turn will cause further delay in the installation of 6,000 closed-circuit televisions (CCTV) across the city.

The final decision to take action will be taken by home minister RR Patil within a day or two. A discussion regarding the same took place at a high-level committee under the chairmanship of chief secretary JK Banthia on Tuesday.

The CCTV tender process is said to have faced a hurdle after the tender allocated to the consortium led by Allied Digital Services (ADS), MTNL, DWPL on May 21, came under scrutiny after a dispute among partners. It was learnt that ADS, a partner in the consortium was blacklisted by MTNL thus raising questions about the future of the contract. A report was sought from MTNL to explain why it did not inform the government about the blacklisting when the tender was floated, and spare the government the three-month delay.

Meanwhile, two days after Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief, Sharad Pawar, criticised Patil for failing to exert his authority over his department and for the delay is setting up the CCTV surveillance system, Patil refuted his party chief’s statement. Patil said that the CCTV project was on track.

“We have set up a committee under the chairmanship of the chief secretary JK Banthia and they are looking into the details of the tenders. We want to be careful because after four years the CAG will criticise us saying our tender was not technically sound or was given to a blacklisted company,” Patil said on Tuesday.