Bihar government cancels Rs 826 crore contracts awarded during 'Mahagathbandhan' regime

According to officials, the decision to cancel the contracts was taken after an inquiry by the Public Health Engineering Department revealed that there were "irregularities in the process of selecting contractors."
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish KumarFILE Photo | PTI

PATNA: The NDA government in Bihar has cancelled 350 contracts worth Rs 826 crore, which were awarded during the previous RJD-led 'Mahagathbandhan' dispensation in the state for supplying drinking water in rural areas, a minister said on Tuesday.

The decision to cancel the contracts was taken after an inquiry by the Public Health Engineering Department revealed that there were "irregularities in the process of selecting contractors", he said.

During the previous RJD-led grand alliance regime in the state, many contracts were awarded by the department.

An inquiry by the department revealed that due process was not followed in awarding 350 contracts worth Rs 826 crore.

"These were related to the rural water supply, including the installation of hand pumps and mini water supply systems," PHED Minister Niraj Kumar Singh told PTI.

The department has handed over the preliminary inquiry report to the competent authority in the state government for a thorough probe, he said.

"I recently called a meeting of senior officials of the department after getting the report, and later the cancellation order was issued," he said, adding that strict action would be taken against those who would be found guilty.

RJD leader Lalit Yadav was the PHED minister during the previous grand alliance government in the state.

Altogether 1,160 contracts worth Rs 4,600 crore of the PHE department were awarded by the previous government in 17 months, Singh said.

"We have so far cancelled 350 contracts, the remaining are being examined," he said.

The minister, however, refused to give details of the alleged irregularities detected by the department.

"It is not appropriate time to divulge the details as the matter is being investigated by a competent authority," he said.

According to documents available by PTI, Banka district tops the list where a maximum of 106 contracts related to rural water supply systems have been cancelled, followed by Jamui (73), Lakhisarai (20), Aurangabad (18) and Ara (11).

Commenting on the Bihar government's decision to cancel the contracts of the PHE department, RJD's state unit spokesperson Mrityunjay Tiwary, said, "Chief Minister and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar and BJP leaders are scared of our leader Tejashwi Yadav."

The previous 'Mahagathbandhan' government in the state had executed several people-friendly projects and taken major decisions like employment to 7-8 lakh youths and providing social security to the economically and socially weaker sections of the society.

"The NDA partners are also "scared" of the impact of the welfare initiatives taken by the previous government, which benefitted lakhs of people in the state," he claimed.

"RJD is not scared of any probe…let them (the NDA government) do whatever they want to," he added.

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com