By: Manoj More
The Rajiv Jadhav administration in Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation finds itself on a sticky wicket after it moved a proposal before the civic standing committee to give extension to four private firms for cleaning and security jobs without apparently following the laid-down procedure of inviting tenders.
Caught on the wrong foot, the administration did not press for approval of the proposal on which the standing committee deferred its decision at its Tuesday meeting.
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The allegations against the administration’s alleged attempt to get extension to the four firms surfaced first on Monday.
Corporators Seema Savle, Asha Shendge and Sharad Babar had alleged that the civic administration was practicising favouritism by seeking extension for the firms. “NCP leaders and office-bearers are closely related with the firms. And that is the reason why the civic administration is seeking extension to the four firms,” alleged Savle.
NCP rules the PCMC with absolute majority. The three corporators who made the allegations currently have no party affiliation. They were expelled from the Shiv Sena during last year’s state Assembly elections.
Shendge said the four firms were picked after tendering process for cleaning and security jobs in civic schools, but their tenure expired in September last year. “Even after expiry of their term, these firms were allowed to continue to date and now the administration is seeking extension for them. All this smacks of blatant favouritism, especially when these firms have been under fire for poor show,” she said.
The PCMC administration, however, refuted the allegations of favouritism. “Though the tendering is carried out once for a three-year project, the work orders for the firms are given every year. Therefore, we were planning to give them the work orders. Now since the corporators have raised the issue, we will have a relook at the entire system of awarding the tender,” said Municipal Commissioner Rajeev Jadhav.
Debunking the PCMC administration, MLA Laxman Jagtap said this was just the tip of the iceberg. “There are several skeletons hidden in the NCP-ruled civic administration’s cupboards. BJP will expose the functioning of PCMC…” he said.
Meanwhile, BJP leader Sarang Kamtekar said the workers of the firms contracted by the PCMC were also being denied minimum wages. “Some contractors are giving a monthly salary of Rs 7,000 to workers. Seconds after their salary is deposited in their bank account, Rs 4,000 is immediately withdrawn from their accounts.
The PCMC chief said they would certainly find out from the contractors and workers and initiate appropriate measures.