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Friday, April 16, 2021

Pune: Patients 154, PCMC paid bill for 10,000 beds; civic chief orders probe

The PCMC has allegedly paid Rs 1.10 crore to the contractor instead of Rs 13 lakh as per the terms of the contract.

Written by Manoj Dattatrye More | Pune |
Updated: March 22, 2021 12:12:20 pm
Pimpri: Covid cases fall below 3000 daily as testing, micro containment zone stepped upIn addition to increased testing, the PCMC health department has also stepped up efforts to set up more micro-containment zones to contain the spread of the virus. (Express file photo by Ashish Kale)

The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation is probing allegations against a contractor for raising bills for 10,000 beds when only 1,060 were used at a Covid care centre. The PCMC has allegedly paid Rs 1.10 crore to the contractor instead of Rs 13 lakh as per the terms of the contract.

“All the matters relating to the bills paid for Covid care centres are being investigated on the orders of the municipal commissioner,” said Additional health chief Dr Pavan Salave.

Shiv Sena corporator Rahul Kalate, who had first raised the issue, said at the Kiwale Covid care centre, 154 patients were admitted between September and December. For these 154 patients, 1060 beds were used. “The COVID Care Centre told PCMC that each patient occupied the bed for 10 days or more than 10 days. Some occupied the beds for less than 10 days. This means, 1060 beds were used. However, the CCC submitted a bill for 10,000 beds,” he said.

Kalate said for use of 1060 beds, the total bill should come to around Rs 13 lakh. “However, PCMC has paid Rs 1.10 crore to the contractor who ran the Kiwale centre,” he claimed.

Kalate, who produced documents relating to the handing over of the Kiwale centre to the contractor in last week’s civic general body meeting, alleged, “From signing contractor, to use of beds to payment of bill, everything has raised suspicion. For instance, the contract has been signed with the contractor on a single sheet of paper. I have never seen such a contract.”

Kalate alleged that many of the contracts for running the centres had been given to BJP corporators and leaders. “While framing terms and conditions, the PCMC administration adopted a contractor-friendly policy which is very serious. I have urged the commissioner to thoroughly the probe the matter and place the facts before the people. The commissioner has not only ordered the probe but has also directed officials to bring out the facts as early as possible,” he said.

Mayor Usha Dhore, who is the presiding officer in the civic general body meetings, said all the allegations are being looked into. “The commissioner has instituted a probe and everything will be placed before the people. BJP is transparent in its functioning…,” she said.

Previously, the PCMC administration had paid more than Rs 3 crore to a private contractor who ran the Covid care centre in Bhosari that did not treat a single patient. A probe has been launched into that issue as well. Two senior officers who were involved in the case have been divested of their financial powers by the municipal commissioner. They have now been asked to look after only administrative duties, civic officials said.

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