Mangaluru: Opposition alleges corruption in Smart City work, demands inquiry

Source: DHNS | Published on 1st December 2022, 7:01 PM | Coastal News |

Mangaluru:  Opposition in Council of Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) alleged corruption and demanded an inquiry into awarding of a contract for the work on the second phase of Command Control Centre under the Mangaluru Smart City Limited (MSCL) to be taken up at a cost of Rs 32 crore.

Corporator A C Vinayaraj alleged that a blacklisted firm has been entrusted to carry out the work.

“The cameras installed under the project are of sub-standard quality.  The firm, which was entrusted with a similar work at Madhya Pradesh and Ghaziabad, had failed in implementing the work and was blacklisted. The order to blacklist the firm was quashed by the court for only reason that authorities did not follow the due procedures before blacklisting them. The firm has been using the camera manufactured in China, and the brand has been banned by US government citing security reasons,’’ he said.

The consultant firm, which helped the bidder in preparing DPR, has only three years of experience and was also part of the tender evaluation committee and the firm is also engaged in the supply of radar hardware as well, he added.

There is a conspiracy by the consultant firm to get the electronic devices for the project to be purchased through the firm, alleged Vinayraj.

He demanded that a Lokayukta or other agency probe should be conducted and said, “Tax payers’ money is being wasted and the MCC is promoting the blacklisted firm.”

When all the Opposition members demanded an inquiry into the awarding of the contract, there was an exchange of words between the ruling and Opposition members.

Reacting to the allegations of the Opposition, MCC Commissioner Akshy Sridhar said that the Court in Madhya Pradesh had quashed the proposal on blacklisting the said firm. The technical committee of the Smart City project scrutinised the bidders before finalising on the bidder.

“After the issue on blacklisting the firm was brought to my notice, a meeting of the Smart City Limited directors, MSCL MD and mayor was convened to discuss it,” he said.

Chief Whip in the Council Premananda Shetty alleged that those bidders who failed to get the contract might have contacted the opposition.

“If an inquiry is not initiated, I will approach the appropriate authorities with a complaint on the same,” Vinayaraj said.

Water supply

The corporators, irrespective of the party, alleged that there has been a disruption in water supply in the city for the last 15 days. The elevated areas failed to get enough water.

Raising the issue, Leader of Opposition in the Council Naveen D’Souza said that the residents are not getting water even for two hours in a day.

Officials claim that disruption in power supply has affected the pumping of water, which in turn disrupted water supply, he said.

The digging of the road for the gas pipeline has also disrupted water supply in several wards in the city, the corporators alleged.

An official from Mescom said that there was a disruption in power supply for four hours and 40 minutes in November in Thumbe area. A team of engineers have been constituted to attend the disruption of power supply immediately.

The MCC commissioner said that there is a scope for laying a UG cable at the Thumbe Pump House under the Jalasiri scheme.

Mayor Jayanand Anchan said that a meeting will be convened to discuss disruption in water supply with the Mescom and other concerned officials next week.

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