The allotment of a tender to allegedly a higher bidder at `17.78 crore, rejecting the low-priced tender for `9.89 crore for installing a water purification system in about 1,100 villages of the district under a water scheme, has led to a controversy with the lowest bidder complaining against the department, alleging that the department had flouted the norms and caused a loss to the government to the tune of `7.89 crore. The tender was allotted in January.
“The department of water supply and sanitation had invited tenders for a non-electricity based waterchlorination and purification project in about 1,100 villages. As per the rules, the department was supposed to first verify the bid security, the technical competency and then the bidding. But the department did not do so and rejected my bidding on technical grounds to favour the other,” alleged Ashok Kumar Jain, speaking to HT over phone.
“The tender was allotted in January and the department has caused a loss to the government by allotting the work to another party at `17.78 crore while rejecting my tender for `9.81 crore on frivolous grounds,” the complainant alleged.
“I had submitted my complaint to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), which forwarded it to the chief secretary, Punjab. I have also written to the principal secretary, health and sanitation department and CBI as well. I shall also approach the Punjab and Haryana high court to seek justice,” claimed Jain. He hinted of a big scam in the department.
RK Talwar, superintendent engineer of the water supply and sanitation department, here, termed the allegation baseless. “The tendering was finalised by four chief engineers after a thorough scrutiny as he had complained about it. I had only allotted the work after getting clearance from the higher-ups. In fact, his bid was higher at `43.57 crore while the tender was allotted to the lowest bidder for `17.78 crore. The complainant is concealing facts.”