Tendering for Metro Bhavan: CAG report confirms our allegations of irregularities, says CongUpdated: Jan 16, 2020 23:31 IST
Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant on Thursday said a report on a probe by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) confirmed their allegations of irregularities and violations of the Central Vigilance Commission guidelines in the tendering procedure for the ₹1,000-crore Metro Bhavan at Aarey Colony and its link to the ₹14,000-crore Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.
Sawant had, in August last year, alleged that a corrigendum was issued for the bidding process in May to accommodate a certain company. He alleged the rules were tweaked to keep other eligible companies at bay and the changes were made at the behest of heavyweight leaders of the then ruling party. He had filed a complaint with the Prime Minister’s Office and principal accountant general, demanding a probe, which was carried out by the CAG.
The MMRDA had said in August that it was a global tender and the procedure of tendering was open and transparent. The authority had said that the tendering was carried out as per the Central government’s general finance rules and CVC guidelines. When asked for its say on the CAG report, MMRDA officials on Thursday said it will be issued after going through the report.
The report, produced by Sawant, stated the eligibility criteria were not clearly defined, even though the project was highly complex in nature. “The report stated that prospective bidders were not aware of the frequent changes made to the scope of the work and the scope of the project was not finalised before tendering. The changes were made on the advice of participating bidders which violated the transparency norms required in such tenders. Allowing change in eligibility criteria as per the wish of bidders increased chances of cartelisation by a few bidders. The timeframe set was unreasonable as the onus of obtaining approvals from various departments was put on the contractor, the report has stated,” said Sawant.
Sawant alleged changes were made to the bidding documents to ensure that a company from south India got the bid, as it had helped the government in a key housing project implemented in Navi Mumbai under the PMAY funded by the Central government.
He also alleged that more than 13 specifications were changed in the corrigendum, violating the norms of the CVC.