“Himachal like PPE kit scam has been averted here”, the councillors said after 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.
Chandigarh Municipal Commissioner KK Yadav cancelled the tender on Tuesday even when technical bids had opened and over 51 companies had participated in it.
Orders of cancellation were issued after questions were raised in the house on the fact that right procedure was not being followed as experts opinion was also not taken and not just rates were high but requirement shown was also on the higher side.
While speaking to The Indian Express, MC Commissioner KK Yadav said, “Yes tender has been cancelled. In fact, a new committee was constituted on recommendations of the house. A PGI expert along with nominated councillors are also there in the committee now. So they will look at it again now.”
He added, “Also, Councillors Arun Sood and Devinder Singh Babla have volunteered to donate 1000 PPE kits each and 100 ML sanitizers. And the containment pockets have also reduced. So the entire requirement will be relooked now. Because of donations as volunteered by the councillors, so we will save Corporation fund as well.”
After getting to know about cancellation of tender, Congress councillor Satish Kainth who had also raised questions in the house said, “Cancellation after opening technical bid clearly indicates that some irregularities were found. Even now, they have not submitted me the list of companies that came forward in the process. What is it that they are concealing now? This was going to be a repeat of Himachal scam”.
He added, “And I had also pointed out that when the things were available on GEM why did they go in for private companies.”
Leader of opposition Devinder Singh Babla said that a “Himachal scam like scam has been averted.”
“I fail to understand why they were bringing the issue to house when they had called in companies. Were they trying to get the stamp of the house so that if questioned later they may have said that house approved it,” he said.
The Indian Express had highlighted how the civic body was all set to spend Rs 2.84 crore on sanitizers and PPE kits. The issue was being brought to the general house for discussion when tenders had already been placed and companies had already come forward to participate in the same.
The councillors then raised serious questions on the purchase procedure where they not just expressed doubts over the high rates specified but also the manner in which they were being procured.
City BJP president and councillor Arun Sood had specified that best kits being taken for doctors are available for Rs 800 per piece but here they had shown the purchase rate of Rs 1,050 per piece without taking any expert’s advice and specification. He said that specification should be got approved from DRDO as these kits will be worn by the staff in containment zones.
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 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 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.
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