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LG-appointed panel found scam in bus procurement process: Delhi BJP counters Sisodia's claim

Earlier, senior AAP leader Minister Sisodia claimed that the panel, in its report, has given a clean chit to the Kejriwal government.

Published: 10th July 2021 07:57 PM  |   Last Updated: 10th July 2021 07:57 PM   |  A+A-

Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly, Vijender Gupta

Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly, Vijender Gupta (File Photo | PTI)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: A report by a panel set up by Lt Governor Anil Baijal to look into the bus procurement process in the national capital has established that there was a scam in it, argued the Delhi BJP on Saturday, hours after Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia claimed otherwise.

Hitting out at the Aam Aadmi Party for claiming that its government has got a clean chit in the matter, the BJP accused it of "misleading" the people.

Earlier on the day, senior AAP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Sisodia claimed that the panel, in its report, has given a clean chit to the Kejriwal government concluding that it was not involved in any scam.

He accused the Delhi BJP leaders of creating "obstructions" in the procurement of the buses and demanded that they apologise to the people for this.

No new bus has been procured by the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) for more than a decade, Sisodia said.

"The ruling AAP is misguiding (people) by claiming that the committee has inquired into the procurement process of the DTC buses and has given it a clean chit," said a BJP MLA who had raised the issue in the Delhi Assembly earlier this year.

The committee focussed on the annual maintenance contract (AMC) of 1,000 buses being procured by DTC which it has clearly stated in its report, Vijender Gupta said in a press conference.

"After finding the AMC process and contract faulty, the committee has suggested scrapping of the deal entirely," he claimed.

The three-member panel, which included transport and vigilance commissioners of the Delhi government, was formed by Lt Governor Anil Baijal last month.

It submitted its report to Baijal on July 8, officials said.

The bus procurement process has been put on hold by the transport department due to the enquiry by the LG-appointed panel.

"The findings of the committee establishes the open loot perpetrated in the AMC contract for the new DTC buses. The entire deal was meant to favour two companies as a quid pro quo and to siphon off Rs 3,500 crore from taxpayers' money," Gupta alleged.

The committee found "grave violations" of General Financial Rules, 2017, in the maintenance contract of the buses, Gupta said while sharing a document which he claimed was a copy of the panel's report.

"The government ensured that only two companies could take part in the tendering process of the AMC contract. It did not set any benchmark price in the request for proposal. There is no record of any internal cost assessment for benchmark bids against an estimation," Gupta alleged.

These companies were to be given Rs 30 crore every month even when all the infrastructure requirements, bus driver, conductor, fuel are being ensured by the DTC, while other requirements are being fulfilled under warranty, he claimed.

"This was being done without any due diligence or assessment of a reasonable cost. The panel recommended that the bid for AMC of buses be scrapped. It also suggested a fresh bid for AMC with relevant service level agreements and ensuring wider participation," the BJP MLA said.



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