Local Goa News

Friday, August 26, 2016

Rs 329 crore power dept ‘scam’ comes to light

PANAJI: Bharatiya Janata Party-led state government is faced by yet another accusation of alleged scam to the tune of Rs 329 crore as a complaint has been filed before the Lokayukta against the Power Minister Milind Naik and other government officials in two tender awarding processes.

After a setback to the government in the beach cleaning contract which was cancelled on Thursday, the power tender “scam” is a major jolt to the government before the forthcoming assembly elections.
Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) general secretary Sunil Kawthankar on Friday petitioned the Goa Lokayukta to hold inquiry into the entire process of two tenders and awarding them to favoured bidders by flouting norms and in illegal manner.
Kawthankar in his petition has stated that the power minister on August 6, 2016 ignored the recommendations of the Goa State Works Board (GSWB) on technical grounds of visibility of the price and noted on the file that he (Naik) sees no reason for carrying the tendering process afresh and directed the Goa Electricity Department (GED) to put up the file for directions.
Earlier, at the GSWB meeting held on June 21, 2016 under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary, the GSWB decided that the entire package of tender should be re-tendered and while doing so due process should be followed.
Providing details of the tenders in question, Kawthankar said, “GED had floated a tender for electrical works in sub-transmission and HT and LT distribution network at an estimated cost of Rs 157 crore.”
He further said that at the time of the techno-commercial evaluation it came to the notice of GED that the financial bids were visible on the website. He said, “The entire purpose of a closed tender is to establish the price competitiveness so that the state gets the best price for the public work it desires to carry out and public money is judiciously utilised.”
CPWD manual as well as CVC norms mandate the close tender procedure for such tenders and since the financial bids were visible before the formal opening of these bids, the whole purpose of floating a closed tender got vitiated and hence it was mandatory on the part of GED to go for a re-tendering process, he added.
Kawthankar informed that instead of going for a re-tender process GED obtained No Objection letters from all the three bidders and opened the already visible financial bids on April 22. Further, after the formal opening of financial bids, GED disqualified the lowest bidder M/s Voltas Ltd, Mumbai on the grounds that the bid was incomplete.
He said that the financial bids of the other two parties namely M/s KEI Industries Ltd, Gurgao and M/s Larson & Toubro (L&T), Chennai were evaluated for comparison and L&T was declared as the lowest bidder with a quoted amount of Rs 183.31 crore which is 17.11 per cent above the estimated cost of Rs 156.52 crore. This is total contradiction to the fact that when the bids were visible on screen prior to official opening of financial bids, L&T had bid higher with a quoted amount of Rs 186.63 crore compared to Rs 186.28 crore by KEI.
Kawthankar alleged, to further rig the process, on April 22 when the financial bids were formally opened, GED prepared a Reasonable Rate Statement (RRS) and kept it in a sealed envelope. “It may be noted that as per logic and common and fair practice as well as CPWD norms and CVC guidelines the RRS, has to be prepared by the department at the time of inviting tender and kept in a sealed envelope. This envelope has to be opened only if the financial quotes of the bidders are more than 5 per cent above the estimated cost of the tender,” he informed.
However in this case, GED after viewing the financial bids of all the three bidders and seeing that the bids of all the bidders are almost 17-20 per cent higher than the estimated cost and in the non-permissible range, prepared the RRS to justify the high quotations of the bidders and give the work order at such high rates, by committing one illegality after the other, he added.
Kawthankar has further alleged that another tender of an estimated Rs 142 crore for aerial bunched cables is being awarded to KEI Industries as a reward for accepting the norms of the power minister and submitting the no objection letter during the first tender bid.

NT Network Goa News

No comments:

Post a Comment