BMC drags feet over probe of scam in supply of educational items
Even as the schools in Mumbai have started, the civic administration has not initiated any inquiry into the cartel of bidders who reportedly managed to grab all the tenders for supply of educational items to municipal schools. The administration has asked for some more time to come back with its findings, but until then the students will be deprived of their textbooks during this academic year.
Councillors allege that the inquiry committee is deliberately buying time, hoping that the councillors will get tired and give up their quest for fair and transparent system in the tendering process. The BMC had set up an inquiry after reports surfaced that a group of bidders who had submitted the tenders had common directors and proprietors. Despite all documents and evidence in possessions, the inquiry committee has failed to take any initiative on the issue.
Every year, the BMC provides ‘27 educational items’ including textbooks, notebooks, pens, pencils, bags, uniforms and shoes since 2007. Its aim is to help students studying in municipal schools by providing them with educational items which their parents cannot afford to buy it.
However, it has been observed that since 2007, the same firms or organisations had managed to get the tenders, that is right from the day the scheme was implemented. BMC rules strictly prohibit two firms having common directors or proprietors. If found, the Municipal Commissioner has the right to cancel such tenders and even blacklist such firms.
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena councillor Sandeep Deshpande, who had brought this issue to the notice of the Standing Committee said, “The BMC administration is deliberately buying extra time under the name of inquiry report.”