THE Chandigarh civic body has prepared a fresh tender for Rs 4.24 lakh to purchase sanitizers and other protective equipment to combat the novel coronavirus, estimates of which were prepared for Rs 2.82 crore earlier.
The Municipal Corporation also said that at the moment there was no requirement of PPE kits as they were getting the same in donations.
The fresh tender was floated after questions were raised on the irregularities in purchase of sanitizers and PPE kits in the General House, questioning not just the hefty quantities of the same, but also the higher rates.
The previous tender was for Rs 2.82 crore and it was brought in the house when technical bids had been called. Following this, a committee was constituted and the tender was cancelled.
When asked about how the demand has been reduced, a senior officer of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation said, “The containment areas reduced and also the number of quarantined houses. So, the amount has been revised.”
In the new estimate of Rs 4.24 lakh, 442 bottles of 5 litre sanitizers where one bottle costs Rs 450, three layer 7,000 masks with one at Rs 3 each, N95 masks of about 3,500 quantity (Rs 51 each), disposable bags and other things will be purchased.
Officials said that since they have been getting donations of other gloves and PPE kits, tenders for the same aren’t required at the moment.
BJP Chief Arun Sood that the reduction of amount implies that unnecessary things were included in the previous tender which wasn’t required. “Had we not pointed it out, public money would have gone down the drain. Thankfully that money is saved. It clearly signifies that requirement was only upto Rs 4.24 lakh. We already distributed 6,000 sanitizer bottles and 2,000 more are in the pipeline. There was no single expert in previous tender committee and they were going ahead with whatever they felt like,” said Sood.
The previous tender and its cancellation
In May, the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation cancelled the tender of PPE kits, gloves and sanitizers worth Rs 2.82 crore as serious questions were raised in the purchase procedure by councillors.
The Indian Express had highlighted how the civic body was all set to spend Rs 2.82 crore. The councillors too then raised serious questions on the purchase procedure where they t expressed doubts over the high rates specified and the manner in which they were being procured.
City BJP president and councillor, Arun Sood, had specified that the best kits being taken for doctors are available for Rs 800 per piece but the MC they had shown the purchase rate of Rs 1,050 per piece without taking any expert’s advice and specification.
The Municipal Corporation has been focussing on buying protective equipment for Covid-19. Other than tenders for PPE kits in which 34 companies had participated, sanitizers worth Rs 46.80 lakh had been ordered. Of this, around 30,000 bottles of sanitizers of 500 ML each had been ordered amounting to Rs 45 lakh and 6,000 bottles of 100 ML sanitizer bottles worth Rs 1.80 lakh had also been ordered. Ten companies had participated in this too.
Various types of gloves and masks had also been ordered. As per details, N95 masks (about 3,200 in quantity) had been ordered for Rs 16.56 lakh. Other than this, three-layer medical masks for Rs 2.10 lakh had been ordered. Gloves worth Rs 6.40 lakh and binding tape worth Rs 20,000 had also been ordered. For this, seven companies had participated in the tender.
Later it was all cancelled.
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