Activist files complaint against TMC chief over bicycle project

Published on Feb 25, 2020 11:42 PM IST
HT Image
HT Image
By, Mumbai

Thane Municipal Corporation’s (TMC) rent-a-cycle initiative may come under the anti-corruption bureau’s (ACB) scanner. The project allows people to rent bikes for 10 an hour.

On Monday, Right to Information (RTI) activist Pravin Wategaokar filed a complaint with the Thane ACB against civic commissioner Sanjeev Jaiswal and two firms, New Age Media Partner Private Limited and Signpost India Private Limited, which are associated with the project.

Wategaokar’s complaint, a copy of which is with Hindustan Times, states that Jaiswal cleared the proposal by New Age Media Partner Private Limited in December 2016. The public- private partnership was given for 15 years and granted the company advertisement rights at 50 bicycle kiosks without issuing tenders.

The complaint states that the proposal was cleared by the TMC’s general body, after which the firm transferred its rights to Signpost India Private Limited.

The work order was issued in the name of the second firm and not the one which had put up the proposal. “The way the project was awarded and transferred is illegal. It attracts offences under section 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act and sections 405, 409 (criminal breach of trust) of the IPC ,” said Wategaokar.

Signpost India Private Limited’s director refused to comment, saying TMC should respond to it. A spokesperson for New Age Media Partner Private Limited said there was no merit in the complaint.

Jaiswal rubbished the allegations as “baseless and without any substance”. He said, “I am yet to see the complaint. Only then can I give a detailed reply. However, it could be a continuation of the conspiracy against me. As it is a social project on a PPP model where revenue generation is not the objective and TMC does not have to spend money, the basis of the complaint is questionable.”

The civic commissioner said he will seek legal opinion.

“Fifty bicycles were planned at each kiosk near bus stops. This could have earned the firm advertising rights of 80,000 to 1 lakh a month,” said Wategaokar, who has threatened to move the high court if the ACB does not take action.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Ketaki Ghoge is an associate editor with Hindustan Times. Based in Mumbai, she covers politics and governance in Maharashtra. Journalist for the last 13 years, Ketaki enjoys dicing government policies, administration and analysing politics of the day.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
My Offers
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Sunday, December 04, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Register Free and get Exciting Deals