Project cost escalated from Rs 130cr in 2015 to Rs 571.40cr when fresh tender invited in 2018: Cong.
New Delhi: Three former ministers Arvinder Singh Lovely, A.K.Walia and Haroon Yusuf declared in unequivocal terms on Wednesday that if the AAP government didn’t disclose the name of the private company with which the public sector company has a tie-up for the installation of CCTV cameras in the capital within 24 hours, then the Congress will expose the private company’s name, which the government was trying to extend benefits through the public sector entity.
Mr Lovely challenged the AAP government to initiate a CBI inquiry in the CCTV camera scam. He said if the government comes out with clean hands through the CBI in this matter, then the Congress will apologise to them or else the government should seek a public apology from the people of Delhi for misleading them, and also resign from the government.
Delhi Congress president Ajay Maken had on Monday first raised the issue. He had disclosed that the tender for AAP government’s Rs 571.40 crore CCTV project was cleared by the PWD without taking cabinet approval.
He said the request for proposal (RFP) for the project was invited without the approval from the competent authority and the tender was also finalised without it.
Referring to the minutes of the expenditure finace committee (EFC) meeting on April 5, Mr Maken had said that the government had increased the project cost from Rs 130 to Rs 571.40 crore and relaxed bidding conditions which indicated a big scam.
He had noted that the project’s initial cost decided in October 2015 was for Rs 130 crore, but the cost was increased to Rs 571.40 crore after the first tender in November 2017 was cancelled.
He said on February 6, 2018 a fresh tender with modified conditions and escalated cost of Rs 571.40 crore was invited, in which 44 per cent (Rs 250 crore) was set aside for the maintenance of the CCTV cameras.
Instead of replying to the points raised by Mr Maken, AAP minister Gopal Rai had leveled personal allegations against the DPCC president.Addressing a joint press conference, all the three former city ministers said if the Arvind Kejriwal government did not disclose the name of the private bidder, which it was trying to favour, within 24 hours, the Delhi Congress will expose all the names related to the contentious matter.
Mr Lovely said that the AAP government did not go to the EFC and the Cabinet as the tender was brought with restricted norms as these norms could keep away the other interested bidders. He said the AAP minister had claimed that it was a policy decision, but tender is not floated on policy decision.
He said tender is floated on the approval of the Cabinet and EFC and policy decision cannot say the tender will be for a particular amount and the same be awarded to such and such company.
He said that like the CCTV camera tender issue, tender of the Education Department for Rs 200 crore was pending with the government and IT department was one nodal agency in the Delhi government whose recommendations and examinations were required for installation of CCTV cameras. The IT department was a member in the EFC. He also wanted to know what is feasible-either to purchase 400 cameras in one go or 200 cameras each in the two installments.
Refuting the allegations raised by Mr Rai that the Congress wants to delay the work on the CCTV camera project, Mr Lovely said the Cabinet passed the project in 2015 and the concerned department floated tender for the project in 2017.
He said there was a set procedure in the government that before any tender is considered, it has to be brought before the EFC (Expenditure Finance Committee) and if the tender is for above Rs 100 crore, then even the EFC is not empowered as the cabinet examines it.