Mumbai Congress President Sanjay Nirupam on Saturday wrote a forthright letter to Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis demanding an immediate termination of the 7-year contract awarded to Vidarbha Infotech Pvt Ltd in 2016, and initiating a departmental inquiry against the errant officers. In the letter, Nirupam also stated that the government machinery has been manipulated and misused to award the contract to the Nagpur-based Vidarbha Infotech Pvt Ltd. in order to favour a few beneficiaries.
Demanding the CM to terminate the contract of Vidarbha Infotech Pvt Ltd for undertaking towing services Sanjay Nirupam said, “The CM speaks about transparency in the functioning of the BJP government. Ironically everything done in the process of allotting contract to Vidarbha Infotech Pvt Ltd is questionable. It reeks of favouritism and nepotism since the firm is based in Nagpur which also happens to be the CM’s hometown. Various rules have been floated in the process of allotting the towing contract to Vidarbha Infotech Pvt Ltd. It was mandatory to publish the tender in more than one newspaper i.e. national and regional language newspapers since the cost involved exceeded Rs 5 crore. However, in this case, the tender was not published in any national newspaper. Where is the transparency in this entire process?”
“It wasn’t possible for the errant officers to pull off this delinquency without the consistent support of the pet officers from the Chief Minister’s Office”, further said Nirupam.
In the letter, Nirupam also mentioned that the authority to approve purchases worth above Rs 1 crore lies with a high-level committee under the Additional Chief Secretary (Home) and such approval wasn’t taken in this case. He also stated that the administrative approval of the government which is mandatory before implementing the tendering process worth more than Rs 1 crore was too dodged here. The Mumbai Congress President brought to the notice of the Maha CM that the objection raised by the then Commissioner of Police Dattatray Padsalgilkar last year through a letter was conveniently ignored.
The Mumbai Congress Unit Chief further raised questions on the functioning of the Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) who awarded the contract to Vidarbha Infotech Pvt Ltd. despite not being the competent authority to do so. He further pointed out that no approval of even the Commissioner of Police, Brihanmumbai was taken.
In November 2017, Sanjay Nirupam had alleged that Vidarbha Infotech Pvt Ltd. is a computer solutions company with no expertise in the field and had increased towing charges with no prior warning to the citizens. He also pointed out the proximity Pravin Darade, an IAS Officer from the CM’s office shared with Vidarbha Infotech Pvt Ltd. which he said was the reason behind allotment of this contract to the towing firm in question.