MANGALURU: A short term tender notification by Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) to make arrangements for Independence Day event to be held at Nehru Maidan on August 15 has come under attack from citizens.
While the event is scheduled to take place on August 15, the tender notification published in newspapers on August 8, said that the last date to obtain tender forms is August 17 and the filled in tender forms should be submitted by August 18.
Paper clipping of the tender with the dates underlined went viral on social media, with people slamming the civic body stating that the notification makes clear that inviting tenders is just a formality and MCC officials would entrust the work to a contractor of their choice.
Following public ire, on Sunday, the MCC issued another notification by changing the dates to August 12 and 13.
The estimate for the arrangements which is Rs 4.19 lakh has also come under fire, with the citizens asking why so much is being spent even as the government has declared that the I-Day event will be a low key affair this year, in view of Covid-19 pandemic.
Civic activist Shashidhar Shetty in a WhatsApp post termed the incident as an irony as funds are being 'looted' even in the name of Independence Day. Shetty is not much surprised by the tender notification as he had even come across MCC passing a bill of a road patchwork in Kodikal, even before the work was carried out. According to him, the patchwork was done secretly by the contractor after a complaint was lodged with Lokayukta.
Deputy Commissioner KV Rajendra termed the tender notification as 'funny' and an event that reflects nothing but 'heights of foolishness' and added that he will slap a notice on the MCC, asking why a tender was not floated at the right time and whether the mention of dates in the notification was intentional or due to oversight.
He said he will assess the tender estimate but felt that a low key affair does not necessarily mean the expenditure will be less. “Though it will be a low-key affair, the fervour and grandeur of the event can't be compromised because it's a national festival. People will not be allowed but the arrangements will almost be the same,” he pointed out.
ID to be live steamed in social media, big screens
As the public are not allowed to be a part of Independence Day at Nehru Maidan, the event will be livestreamed on Facebook and other social media platforms, said DC KV Rajendra. He said they are also planning to install LED and LCD screens across the city for the locals to watch the event. However, the DC said they have to ensure that people do not gather in large numbers in front of these big screens and it is preferred, they watch the event while on the move. At Nehru Maidan, there will only be flag hoisting and guard of honour. Only public representatives and government officials will be allowed and the cultural programmes will not take place.