MALKANGIRI: Bringing serious allegations of tender fixing against Malkangiri collector Yedulla Vijay, senior Congress leader and former Nabarangpur MP Pradeep Majhi on Tuesday accused the district head of taking bribe of Rs 1 crore and a brand new car to lease out seven stone quarries in favour of one Ch Venu Gopal, the owner of VG Granite at Peta under Motu tehsil.
Addressing the press in Congress Bhawan here, Majhi alleged blatant violation of all rules and said, the Collector floated the tender for auction sale of seven stone quarries under Minor Mineral Sources Act across the district in March this year even though the tehsildars are the competitive authorities to do so.
The tender boxes in the Collector's office were sealed on March 20 and during the proceedings, it was said that these will be shifted to the treasury.
However, Majhi alleged that the boxes were taken to the Collector's residence where bid documents and quotations were changed to favour the AP-based Ch Venu Gopal. The Congress leader said as per the information obtained under RTI, the boxes were shifted to the treasury on March 23.
"Solvency certificate for Rs 1 crore was granted in favour of Venu Gopal illegally by providing wrong information. It was stated that there is a house worth Rs 5 crore and plant on the dangar and paddy kisam land. The seven stone quarries were leased out to Venu Gopal on March 30 and the next day, the Collector got a new car," he alleged.
Besides, the Collector is using a personal car on hire in violation of the government guidelines, the Congress leader said.
However, Collector Vijay refuted all the charges leveled against him. Terming the allegations as baseless and fabricated, Vijay said the tender boxes were shifted to his residence office as there were no security guards at the Collectorate. Further, there was better CCTV surveillance at the residence office, he added.
As he had to go to AP, Vijay said, he asked to shift the boxes to the district treasury. While he said change of land kisam might not have happened, he clarified that since there was an urgency, a personal car was taken on hire by him.