KOCHI: Kochi mayor M Anilkumar has alleged that previous UDF-led councils had entrusted the running of the Brahmapuram waste treatment plant without going through the mandated tendering process. The plant was operated for nine years in violation of regulations, he said.
Responding to the allegations, former mayor Tony Chammany on Saturday termed them as baseless and not factual. “After I took over as mayor in 2011, a tender was floated to run the plant for three years, and in February 2012 the contract period was reduced to two years, and a new agency was assigned,” the former mayor said in an official communication.
He said that during the tenure of Mayor Soumini Jain, a contractor named Sugunakumar participated in the tender in 2019. “Based on his submissions, then CPM health standing committee chairperson Prathibha Ansari and other members visited the plant under Attingal Municipality and were convinced that the work experience certificate presented by the municipality did not meet the contract standards, and the tender was rejected,” the release said.
Chammany alleged that this new backdoor deal, by the new council, violates all tender conditions and falsifies documents and is in the best interests of CPM’s top leader and the mayor. Therefore, the mayor’s role should be investigated, he added.
Meanwhile, opposition UDF councillor said that the corporation has been paying the existing contractor lakhs of rupees for waste treatment plant maintenance. “Last month, the civic body paid Rs 28 lakh for maintenance work, whereas in reality, only dumping of waste is happening there,” said M G Aristotle. He also said that a dissent note from UDF councillors was submitted to the council, but it’s not registered in the corporation file. “A complaint will be registered with the ombudsman in this regard,” he added.
The Vigilance Special Court has sought completion of the investigation within two months and a report by January 18, 2023.