COIMBATORE: Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Wednesday denied any irregularities in the procurement of eggs for mid-day meals in schools. Speaking to media persons at the Coimbatore International Airport, Palaniswami said that it was the DMK government which started floating statewide tender for procuring eggs in 1998. In 2007, when came to power again, it announced that tenders would be floated once in three months at district-level, and subsequently, the tenders were floated once in a month.
“However, Amma again started floating state-level tenders, considering that the government was incurring high expenses on advertising and other administrative expenses.
For five years, beginning 2013, the state government procured eggs for Rs 2,031 crore and the present government is buying an egg at Rs 4.34; whereas, the Andhra and Jharkhand governments are procuring it for Rs 4.68 and Rs 5.93 respectively. There are no irregularities in the procurement of eggs for the noon-meal centres,” the CM stated.
Talking about the Chennai-Salem express Highway project, Palaniswami said that nearly 85 per cent of the survey work for acquiring lands had been completed and discussions were on with the remaining landowners to facilitate execution of the project in a smooth manner, with the consent of the landowners.
Referring to the income tax raid in a highway contractor’s house and offices, during which Rs 160 crore cash and 100 kg gold were seized, the chief minister said that the IT department was carrying out its work since the company had evaded taxes.
“There are no irregularities in awarding highway contract works to the company since every documentation is being done online. During the DMK regime, when Duraimurugan was the PWD minister, he awarded a contract to a company for 15 per cent higher than the quoted tender amount. But we had not given more than one or two per cent higher than the tender amount. The opposition parties have been levelling false charges against the state government for political gain, ,” said Palanisami.
The State government is procuring an egg for `4.34, whereas the Andhra Pradesh and Jharkhand are
procuring for `4.68 and `5.93 respectively, the chief minister said