Transport Minister V Senthil Balaji on Monday dismissed a media report alleging irregularities in the contract awarded for the procurement of GPS-driven ticketing machines for the State-owned transport corporations.
Replying to the special mention raised by the DMK, CPI, CPM and Puthiya Thamizhagam, the minister said every norm for awarding the contract was followed and `27.97 crore had been saved.
He announced that his department would sue the publisher, editor and the correspondent of the English daily for carrying a report contrary to the truth.
The Minister rejected DMK floor leader MK Stalin’s allegation that the contract for procuring the machines was awarded on the same day the government called for tenders.
To prove this, he revealed the timeline for the tendering process. The tender was floated on September 7, 2012, and fund allocation was made on December 26, 2012. The tenders were opened on January 24, 2013, while their scrutiny was held on February 26. The tender was finalised on February 28.
He said four consortiums had submitted tenders for the project and it was awarded to a consortium headed by Hyderabad-based Ingenerie Technologies Solutions, which quoted the lowest amount (`13.43 per ticket).
After negotiations, it had agreed to reduce the rate to `13.40. He denied another allegation that the Ingenerie had no prior experience in this project. The Mango Healthcare Solutions Private Limited, Hyderabad, had seven years of experience in this field and it had registered the company Ingenerie Techologies Solutions Private Limited as per the Companies Act.
The Minister said the consortium headed by Ingenerie had already distributed ticketing machines to transport corporations in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab and Rajasthan. Besides, the company also executed electronic ticketing system in more than 50 private bus companies in various states.
Comparing an attempt made by previous DMK regime to implement electronic ticketing system, he said it was not based on GPS and could not be operated online. The weight of that machine was 700 gm while Ingenerie’s machine was just 590 gm, which would help the conductors handle it easily.