The sub-standard quality of bomb suits ordered by the home department and the delay in their procurement has been severely criticised in the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), which was tabled in state assembly on Tuesday.
The report blames the department for ‘undue favours’ to the supplier thereby ‘jeopardising the security preparedness of the state’.
The department ordered 82 bomb suits under an ‘urgent order procedure’, that is by dipping into a contingency fund, and paid the entire cost of Rs 6.22 crore in advance to the supplier even before inspecting the material or the quality of the suits, the report said.
According to the report, the assistant inspector general of police, Mumbai (AIGP), on behalf of the director general of police (DGP) had called for bids for bomb suits for detection and disposal in December 2008, after the Mumbai terror attacks.
From among 35 probable suppliers, the department chose Techno Trade Impex India Ltd, which was to get it from USA and entered into an agreement with it in March 2009 for the supply of 82 bomb suits for Rs 6.22 crore, which was paid for fully in the same month.
The supplier was to deliver the suits within two months of the agreement and was to receive 90% of the payment after receiving the suits and the remaining 10% after they were tested.
The Comptroller and Auditor General’s scrutiny found that 36 suits were manufactured in South Africa and 46 in China and supplied in May 2009, which was not accepted by the department as they had not been tested.
Finally, the bomb suits were delivered after two years, which defeated the purpose of urgent payment, the report said.