ROURKELA: Alleging tender fixing in sanitation work of Rourkela Municipal Corporation (RMC), former secretary of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (RMC) Rashmi Ranjan Padhi has demanded a Vigilance probe into the expenditure of around `9 crore towards cleaning in eight Wards.
Citing an RTI reply, Padhi claimed that the route of open tender was ignored and a particular contractor was given the sanitation work in Ward 15 to 22 against whopping monthly payments. “The fixing of tender smacks of favouritism and corruption,” he said.
Earlier, several contractors were engaged for cleaning Ward 14 to 22. However from September 1, 2014 to February 15, 2016, a particular sanitation contractor was given works of the eight Wards without open tender. Between February 16 and August 31, 2016, the RMC had carried out sanitation works departmentally in these wards. After an interval, the same contractor was again awarded works in the eight wards without open tender and the arrangement is continuing till now, he alleged.
Padhi further claimed that between August 24, 2017 and March 29, 2021, the contractor was given work extension for 12 times. During this period, RMC authorities hid the information though there was intense public resentment over poor quality of sanitation services in the eight Wards.
“The monthly financial package for sanitation works in the eight wards was increased several times and the contractor was given a total of around `9 crore,” he alleged. Padhi said a detailed inquiry by the Vigilance would reveal the truth and the RMC officers concerned should be brought under the purview of investigation for causing whopping loss to the State exchequer and ignoring the guidelines.