Reacting to allegations of a multi-crore fraud in the supply of education items to students of civic schools, Shiv Sena Executive President Uddhav Thackeray had firmly stated, “No second thought on the education items proposal.”
The civic administration has allegedly perpetrated a multiple crore fraud by over quoting the prices of education items meant for the students studying in the
The newly-appointed Municipal Commissioner Sitaram Kunte, being chief of the city civic body, will end up in the dock, since the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena
(MNS) councillor has already sent a court notice to Kunte on thematter.
If the administration fails to back track, theMNS is all set to file a PIL (Public Interest Litigation) against the civic chief.
For the past several years, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has been providing free educational items to students from the lower class of society,
since most cannot afford to buy them. Special budgetary provision have been made in the education budget for education items such as all text books, notebooks, pens, pencils, colour pencils, school bag, dress, tie, shoes, socks and raincoat.
MNS Group leader in the BMC, Dilip Lande, said, “We carried out a market survey of the educational items and found huge differences in the actual market price and prices quoted by the administration in the proposal. For example, we bought a box of Camelin colour pencils box for Rs. 28 and administration quoted Rs.30 for the same. There is a difference of Rs.2 per box and the civic body buys at least 5 lakh units. Similarly, good quality notebooks are available in the market at cheaper prices than the administration has quoted.” On the many differences noticed between the market price and the prices quoted by the administration, the MNS has sent a legal notice to the Commissioner.
Last week, during a visit to monitor nullah cleaning, Uddhav Thackeray had said, “The BMC administration has applied all the existing rules and regulation during the tendering process. It was an open tender process so all were welcome to quote. However, some contactors failed to approach us and they are complaining now. There should not be any second thoughts on this process.’
Another MNS councillor said, “The administration said that there were pre-bid meetings. I can prove that only four representatives of one and same company has come for it. It is a misuse of public money. If the Municipal Commissioner fails to provide justification for the over-quoted price and refuses to renegotiate with the contractors to decrease the price, we are going to file a PIL in the High Court.
“How can you be suspicious about every tender? You cannot be suspicious about everything. It is disbelieving the administration,” asked Sena’s Rahul Shewale
“By all means, I have a right to be suspicious about every tender, if my conscience says something is wrong in it. We want transparency. I believe that is my right as a public representative and the people have sent me here for that job only,” countered Sandeep Deshpande of the MNS.