The BJP has alleged huge misappropriation of funds to the tune of several crores of rupees in the purchase of sweeping and waste compactor machines. It had earlier accused a scam in pothole filling against the Congress in the City, reports Kannada Prabha.

Speaking at a press meet at Vidhana Soudha on Monday, Malleswaram MLA Dr CS Ashwathanarayana released documents alleging the involvement of Urban Development Minister KJ George in purchase of vehicles and machines. He alleged irregularities in inviting tenders and allotting orders for Self Profiled Machine and truck mounted vehicles by BBMP.  Following a complaint registered with the Lokayukta, the officials have created new files according to their convenience, he alleged.

A meeting of expert advisory committee was called on Feb 25, 2014, presided by BBMP Commissioner where it was decided to purchase state-of-the-art machinery to clean the City roads. As per the decision taken in this meeting, the BBMP had to purchase a Self Profiled (Ride on Sweeping) machine. Quotations were called, estimates were prepared as per the least quoted TPS company. Though an evaluation was not done, by an eligible institution, the rest of the tender processes were carried out as per the TPS rates. However, since only TPS company alone had participated in the tender, the special commissioner Darpan Jain had cancelled the tender. Eventually, Darpan Jain was transferred.

Darpan Jain was replaced by Subhodh Yadav who was told that the tender process was halted and asked to start it again. Yadav asked for technical details, machine’s capabilities, its adaptation to Bengaluru roads and rates. As per the Commissioner’s instruction, a team visited Ahmedabad to procure the details. However, on return, the team gave a negative report about the machine, the legislator alleged.

Meanwhile, without the consent of the special commissioner, the BBMP commissioner takes a unilateral decision and called for tender. Tender was prepared for Rs 1.18 crore for machine purchase and Rs 2.02 crore for 5 years maintenance. The government approved it without any queries. The BBMP wrote a letter to State Government within three days to increase the TPS company maintenance from Rs 2.02 crore to Rs 2.26 crores. The government approved it. Then the BBMP again took a decision to increase 5 years maintenance cost to Rs 2.48 crores, he pointed out. 

A complaint was registered with Lokayukta on these developments. The machine mentioned in the tender and the machine actually purchased are two different machines. The complaint registered that instead of the Self Profiled Machine, truck mounted vehicle was approved.  As soon as the complaint was lodged, the officials made a hasty retreat and created new documents citing technical lapses.

The contract was created for Rs 20.80 crore intentionally to cover up the goof up. For Self Profiled machine and 5 years maintenance, Rs 24.15 crore was approved and truck mounted machine purchase and 5 years maintenance Rs 27.21 crore are sanctioned. Even before the files were put up, the work order was signed and issued. This is a major mashup in the history of BBMP tender, he alleged.

In fact, the tender and the contract does not mention anything about the work execution of machines or fines to be imposed in case of substandard work. but extra fee is paid for the maintenance of the machine as well as to the contractor. Joint Commissioner Sarfarz, executive engineers Hemalatha and Lokesh, technical assistant Santosh are partners in crime in this case, the legislator alleged.

BBMP Opposition leader Padmanabha Reddy alleged that the machine that is available in the open market for Rs 18 to Rs 20 lakhs was purchased for Rs 35 lakhs. In the same manner, 50 more vehicles were purchased. The waste management units are maintained at a cost of Rs 15,000 to Rs 19,000 but most of them are idling, he alleged.