Updated: June 17, 2021 7:15:32 pm
Alleging a scam involving crores in the purchase of 1,000 buses by the Delhi Transport Corporation, the Delhi BJP has demanded a CBI probe into the matter.
BJP Rohini MLA Vijender Gupta, who had approached the L-G for an enquiry committee to be set up, had alleged irregularities in the terms of the purchase and maintenance contracts. He said that in January 2021, the Delhi government had placed a work order of 1,000 low-floor buses costing Rs 890 crore. Along with the order for purchase, it also took out the tender for the annual maintenance of the buses for Rs 350 crore per year, he said. This too, was handed over to the same bus suppliers.
Holding a press conference, Gupta said the anti-corruption branch of the state government is not permitting a probe into the matter. In such a situation, the issue must be taken to national corruption branch and, in fact, be investigated by CBI, he said.
Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Assembly Ramvir Bidhuri said Delhi needs 15,000 buses but claimed that in the past seven years, hardly any bus has been purchased by the Arvind Kejriwal government.
He also claimed most buses will be off the roads by September as they would be completing their time period by then: “There will be acute shortage of buses on one hand while in light of the scam in new bus purchase, the government itself would stop the purchase process.”
Incidentally, in October last year, faced with a depleting fleet, the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) had said it will extend the road life of 1,000 buses – which will complete 12 years in service by July 2021 – by another three years.
Gupta, meanwhile, said the party has been raising the issue since last year: “We raised it in the state assembly and recently urged the L-G for a probe into the matter.”
He said while the L-G on June 16 said a committee would be set up to look into it, the Delhi government on June 11 had already decided to stop purchase of buses: “So it is evident the government has taken this decision fearing a big scam into this and now they are taking refuge under the Lt-Governor’s decision to set up a panel.”
Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot on Wednesday had said the purchase orders will be kept in abeyance till the enquiry committee submits its report. “BJP has complained to the L-G, who has set up an inquiry on their complaint. We have stopped the process of procuring buses until the report on the inquiry committee comes. BJP should get its investigation done. We are ready for it. The truth will come out in front of everyone. BJP leaders have already checked 400 files. They found nothing,” he said.
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