CPI MLA V S Sunil Kumar has charged that the scrapping of the draft MoU submitted by the BSNL for taking up construction works at the Pookotte campus of the Kerala Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences Varsity (KVASU), using the Rs 165 crore central grant on the terms and conditions laid by the Central PWD, and entrusting the job of preparing a master plan with a private architect was under political pressure to facilitate corruption.
Sunil Kumar, who had given notice of the adjournment motion on the issue and sought a judicial probe, was addressing a news conference with Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan by his side. Sunil Kumar said that administrative sanction was accorded by the varsity board on April 26 this year to award the contract to BSNL directly with which the state entered into contracts for various construction works worth Rs 350 crore in various parts of the state.
The first instalment in accordance with the MoU was also released. The rate quoted by the BSNL was Rs 2,195 per sq ft. However, an emergency meeting of the varsity board for which notice was not given and held in the chamber of the Vice-Chancellor on June 28, decided to cancel the MoU. With regard to the master plan, Sunil Kumar pointed out that around 250 nationally reputed firms had given their expression of interest. Most of them submitted three sets of plans for works with more than Rs 100 crore outlay. And the firms had more than 15 years’ expertise. But in the controversial board meet, the design expenditure was minimised to Rs 30 crore and work experience was also shortened to 10 years.
“Advertisements were also put up on the basis of the decision but only in few websites unlike newspaper advertisements earlier, even when it was totally against the guidelines of the Central Vigilance Commission that revised advertisements should be submitted only if the bidders on the basis of an earlier advertisement were found not fit to the prescribed norms and requirements,” he noted.
Sunil Kumar also pointed out that the same UDF Government which awarded a huge project like Kochi Metro to a Central PSU through mere nomination after avoiding bids was creating ground for corruption in the case of KVASU. “Public sector BSNL was sidelined even when it was clear that only central funds were involved in the KVASU project,” he blamed. “The controversial decisions were taken at the varsity board meet without even an agenda note,” he charged.