Under attack after CBI initiated probe into alleged irregularities in award of contract by Delhi Jal Board,Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit,who is the chairperson of the body,Saturday denied any wrongdoing and asserted that laid down norms were followed in deciding bids.
She said the terms and conditions of tenders were formulated by “technocrats and officers” of DJB and as chairperson she has no role in it.
“The Chief Minister’s office as well as the Chairman,DJB has nothing to do with the finalisation of terms and conditions of tenders,bid documents,bidding and other related processes. At the Board level,only major decisions are taken including granting administrative approval and expenditure sanctions beyond the powers of the CEO of the DJB,” Dikshit said.
The CBI has registered three separate Preliminary Enquiries with regards to public-private partnership project with a European firm for supplying uninterrupted water supply to Nangloi,Malviya Nagar and Mehrauli areas.
“The investigating agency has only raised certain posers and asked DJB to submit its answers. It is a routine exercise being adopted by the CBI before taking any matter for investigation,” the CM said.
Following the CBI inquiry,the BJP Friday demanded questioning of Dikshit by the probe agency as she is its chairperson. The DJB has already rejected the allegations of wrongdoing.
CBI has alleged that tender conditions for uninterrupted water supply to these areas were “tailor-made” to suit one of the bidders,prompting the agency to start separate enquiry for each of these areas.
The investigating agency has also registered another enquiry related to alleged irregularities in the quality testing of water supply meters purchased from an infrastructure major private company.
“The bid documents were prepared by the DJB as per the model documents approved by the Planning Commission. The BJP is in the habit of smelling scam in any project whatever it may be,” Dikshit said.
The Chief Minister said terms and conditions of tenders were formulated by technocrats and officers of DJB and its board has no role in it.
“The bid documents,in respect of the four projects were prepared by the DJB based on the model documents of the Planning Commission. Further,the bidding was through internationally accepted and transparent e-tendering process,” she said.
Dikshit stated that the Congress Party has planned to release manifesto for election to the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday. She added that the manifesto would reflect “our vision for the next five years”.
“It is a routine exercise being adopted by the investigating agency before taking any matter for probe. The DJB is ready to make all required documents available to establish that the decisions were taken on merits and in the public interest,” she said.
She said DJB was concentrating on installation of water meters in order to provide correct bills to residents as per their actual usage. Delhi BJP Chief Vijay Goel Friday had claimed that people will be forced to pay higher water tariffs as DJB has floated tender last month for installation of four lakh water metres and that the tender conditions were “tailor-made” to suit certain players.
The fourth enquiry registered by CBI is in connection with alleged irregularities in the quality testing of meters. The enquiry is against unknown officers of Fluid Control Research Institute,Palakkad,unknown officers of Delhi Jal Board,Larsen and Toubro and SPML Infra Limited. It is alleged that water meters sent to FCRI,Palakkad,Kerala for quality testing were allegedly first rejected but when these meters were again sent to the Institute,they were cleared without any changes,according to CBI sources.
For the contract for Mehrauli project,CBI has registered preliminary enquiry against unknown officials of Delhi Jal Board,SPML infra,Suez Environment,Veolia Water India Limited,Shiv Marwah and Associates and Jalakam Solutions. The preliminary enquiry related to Malviya Nagar area is against unknown Delhi Jal Board officials,Suez Environment,SPML infra,Veolia Water India Limited,DRA consultants and Shah Technical. The enquiry in the Nangloi project is against unknown Delhi Jal Board officials,Veolia Water India Limited,Suez Environment and IL and FS consultants.