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Patiala MC’s finance panel scraps works worth ₹1 crore okayed by SAD-BJP govt

The committee said most of these works were allotted on the basis of single bids without competition in the tendering process.

punjab Updated: Aug 03, 2017 15:20 IST
Navrajdeep Singh
Navrajdeep Singh
Hindustan Times, Patiala
Patiala MC,works worth ₹1 crore,SAD-BJP
Mayor Amarinder S Bajaj chairing the finance and contract committee meeting on Wednesday. (HT Photo)

The finance and contract committee (F&CC) of the municipal corporation here has scrapped orders of development works worth ₹1.1 crore, approved during the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)- Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) regime.

The committee, which met on Wednesday under the chairmanship of mayor Amarinder Singh Bajaj, said that most of these works were allotted on the basis of single bids without competition in the tendering process.

At least 10 work orders included development of parks, relaying of street roads and laying of interlocking tiles. The works were only in the pipeline even though they were approved six months ago, as the MC failed to provide adequate funds to successful bidders to start the work.

The agenda related to the future of these works was presented in the F&CC meeting, but the committee members, including MC commissioner Gurpreet Singh Khaira, strongly opposed going ahead with these projects as, he said, work orders were awarded on the basis of single bids.

“These works were sanctioned during sangat darshan programmes of the chief minister and deputy chief minister and other ministers and were stalled due to technical reasons. After discussing the matter in detail, the F&CC has decided to scrap tenders, awarded on the basis of single bids,” Khaira said.The MC commissioner added that the corporation will start the process of re-tendering soon.

The local bodies department has already taken a note of tenders of public works worth ₹500 crore on the basis of single bids in four municipal corporations—Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Bathinda— by the previous SAD-BJP government.

Solid waste project

The much-required solid waste management project also met the same fate after the local bodies department had scrapped the tendering process, which was formally completed by the SAD-BJP government.

In September last, the municipal corporation floated the tender for setting up of the plant, for which only one bidder applied. The corporation had finalised and awarded the tender to the lone bidder at ₹1,350 per tonne and sent the file to the state government for approval. But, the government rejected the file and decided to restart the process.

The project has been in limbo for the past six years due to political interference as the local leaders objected to the setting up of the plant in Dudhar village, 20 km from here, where the municipal corporation has already indentified 20-acre land for the project.

Green signal to LED streetlights

After getting a green signal from the Punjab government, the MC will soon start the process of replacing conventional streetlights with smart LED lights.Mayor Bajaj said the LED lights will be installed by the Energy Efficient Services Limited (EESL), an undertaking of the Central government.

“The installation of LED lights will help save money presently incurred on paying electricity bills worth ₹12 crore on lighting conventional streetlights. With LED lights, the electricity bill is expected to come down to half of the conventional streetlights,” he said.

The mayor added the EESL will not only install and provide the infrastructure, but will also ensure post-installation maintenance.“The maintenance of conventional streetlights is a hectic job, as most of the complaints received related to non-functioning of these lights,” he said.

First Published: Aug 03, 2017 15:09 IST