Updated: July 5, 2021 7:46:24 am
OFFICIALS OF the Pimpri-Chinchwad Smart City Corporation Ltd on Sunday denied the charges of Rs 110 crore scam in the smart city project and said that its functioning is “transparent”. At the same time, BJP MLC Prasad Lad, against whose family the allegations were made has also denied the charges and has threatened to file a defamation suit against Shiv Sena and its leaders.
“The functioning of Pimpri-Chinchwad Smart City Corporation Ltd is transparent and there was complete transparency in the implementation of the projects,” said Neelkanth Poman, joint CEO of Pimpri-Chinchwad Smart City Ltd.
Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Commissioner Rajesh Patil, who is the CEO, refused to comment when asked about the allegations levelled by the Shiv Sena.
Lad in a statement said the allegations are baseless and politically motivated. “I am going to file a defamation suit against the Shiv Sena and its leaders,” he said. Lad said he had resigned from the said company three years back and was neither its director nor holding any shares.
“The allegations have been made without verifying facts. I have got in touch with the smart city administration and they said they have given a reply to every allegation made,” said the BJP MLC, who is considered to be close to former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
At a press conference in Akurdi on Saturday, Shiv Sena leader Sulbha Ubale, who is the Shiv Sena Women’s Wings Pune District coordinator, alleged a “financial loot” by Krystal Integrated Services Pvt Ltd, which bagged the smart city contract along with two other companies.
The Sena demanded an investigation by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (GAG) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) against the firm and BJP MLC Prasad Lad. Besides, Ubale, other party leaders like former MLA Gautam Chabukswar, Sena’s city chief Sachin Bhosale, corporator Meenal Yadav, Anant Korhale, Dhanjay Alhar and Anita Tutare were present at the press conference.
Ubale alleged that Lad has done important dealings with Pimpri-Chinchwad Smart City Ltd as contractor and sub-contractor.
“Prasad Lad, his wife, son, daugther and brother are directors in Krystal Integrated Services Ltd. This company has bagged smart city works by forming a joint venture with Tech Mahindra. Pimpri-Chinchwad Smart City has floated a tender for Rs 350 crore. But it was given to Crystal and Tech Mahindra for Rs 520 crore,” she alleged.
However, officials of the smart city project rejected the claims and said that the contract was awarded for Rs 441 crore, which included 18 per cent GST amount. Officials also said that the contract was awarded to a consortium of three companies and not to one company as being alleged.
Ubale also claimed wrongdoings in various other works like the purchase of water meters and generator installation. She said that a water meter costs Rs 10,000-15,000 in the open market. “However, it was purchased by Crystal at Rs 1 lakh per unit,” Ubale said. “At least Rs 72 crore scam has been committed in these purchases,” she alleged.
Officials, however, said that the meters have been procured for five years and the maintenance will also be looked after by the company.
Likewise, for the installation of diesel generator sets the charges levied are Rs 2.57 crore. “However, on Tech Mahindra portal, the charges are Rs 21.26 lakh for installation,” the party claimed.
Ubale said that in case of delay a fine of Rs 25-30 crore has to be imposed on the firms according to the contract. “However, they are being fined only in lakhs,” she alleged. She also alleged irregularity in the online quality analysis-STP monitoring system.
“In the Rs 520 crore project, the Krystal company has committed a fraud of Rs 110 crore. Therefore, an investigation should be launch against the company. MLC Prasad Lad’s relatives are directors of the company and therefore an ED probe should be launch against him. Otherwise, we will be forced to launch an agitation,” Ubale said.
Shiv Sena said according to the rules, an elected representative or his relatives cannot be part of the company, which bags a civic or a government contract. “In such case, the elected representative is disqualified. Will Lad then be disqualified,” asked Ubale.
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