Cloth worth lakhs for MC staff uniforms vanishes into thin air

  • Arjun Sharma, Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
  • Updated: Jul 09, 2014 11:18 IST

Despite the municipal corporation (MC) procuring nearly 49,000 metres of cloth every three years for uniforms of its 4,800 odd Class 4 employees, few of the workers can be seen wearing them.

When additional commissioner Sumeet Jarangal recently received a file on a new tender for cloth for uniforms, he was surprised to know though the civic body floated a tender once every three years almost no employee was seen wearing them.

Questions have now been raised on where the funds, amounting to lakhs, meant for buying cloth for the uniforms are going if the MC staff do not get it.

According to regulations, cloth for one winter and three summer uniforms is given to the employees. For summer cloth measuring 7.5 metres is provided, while for summer 2.75 metres of cloth is provided every three years. With the cost of the tericot cloth ranging between Rs 40 and Rs 50, just the cloth for summer for 4,800 employees would cost over Rs 14 lakh.

According to sources, cloth for uniforms are being provided to Class 4 employees since 1990. Earlier, they were being given cash to buy the cloth. But, when it emerged the money was not being used for the right purpose, the civic body decided to procure the cloth itself.

Sources said senior administration officials now doubt whether these uniforms were even procured from the companies that bid for the MC tenders. In keeping with the norms the company quoting the lowest price for the tender is given the contract for supplying the cloth.

The last time uniforms were provided to the MC employees was in 2010. As a result, tenders have been due since 2013.

A city resident, Ravi Sharma, had sought details on the matter from the civic body under the Right to Information Act but the MC is yet to respond.

Meanwhile, Jarangal said, “I’ll look into the matter to find out how the money allocated for cloth ostensibly procured for employees’ uniforms has been spent during the past few years. I’m very concerned about the matter as the civic body is already reeling under a funds crunch.”

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