The ruling AAP Saturday claimed that a Centre-appointed committee has absolved the Delhi government of any ”infirmity” in the procurement of buses by DTC while flagging ”lapses” in their annual maintenance contract but the opposition BJP insisted the panel ”nailed” the Kejriwal dispensation and its findings establish ”open loot”.
The committee has given ”clean chit” to the Delhi government in the procurement of buses and this is the proof of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s honest politics, his deputy Manish Sisodia said.
But the Delhi BJP attacked the Kejriwal government claiming the report has established a ”scam” in the bus procurement process.
The three-member panel that included the transport commissioner and vigilance secretary of the Delhi government was formed by Lt Governor Anil Baijal last month. It submitted its report to Baijal on July 8, officials said.
”The committee in its report did not find any infirmity in bus procurement. Also, it did not come across any evidence to impute any criminal misconduct by any public official. However, it flagged several lapses in annual maintenance contract (AMC) of 1000 buses being procured by the DTC,” an official said.
According to Sisodia, the committee analysed 3,000 documents and raised several queries, after which it concluded that the Kejriwal government was not involved in any scam in the procurement of buses.
The BJP has been alleging a ”scam” in the AMC of low floor buses to be procured by the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC).
”The investigation committee of the BJP-led central government has not been able to find any flaws or irregularities in the purchase of buses. The report of the inquiry committee has made it clear that the government led by Arvind Kejriwal in Delhi is honest and the Delhi BJP leaders in opposition are trying to malign the image of the government,” Sisodia said at an online briefing.
”This makes it clear that the Delhi government is working honestly for the interests of the people,” he added.
Sisodia said Kejriwal’s model of ”politics of good governance, honesty and work is being discussed all over the country”.
The BJP leaders are spreading ”lies” and obstructing the process of procurement of buses, he claimed and demanded an ”apology” from the party to the people.
He claimed that no buses were purchased in Delhi from 2008 to 2015.
”After forming the government in 2015, whenever Arvind Kejriwal has invited for tenders for the purchase of buses to improve public transport service, BJP leaders have tried to create hurdles. But despite all their lies and hindrances, the buses will come to Delhi and public transport service will be further improved,” he said.
Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot said the national capital will get 1000 buses.
”Truth prevails, Conspiracies derail. I had always maintained that let BJP get any of our decisions probed from anywhere. The reality is that BJP’s real motive was to defame @ArvindKejriwal ji and derail the process of getting buses for Delhiites. I am happy that Delhi will get 1000 Buses,” he tweeted. However, BJP MLA Vijender Gupta who had raised the issue in the assembly earlier this year, claimed the AAP is ”misguiding people by saying that the committee has inquired into the procurement process of the DTC buses and has given it a clean chit”.
The committee focussed on AMC of 1000 buses being procured by DTC which it has clearly stated in its report, he told a press conference.
”After finding the AMC process and contract faulty, the committee has suggested scrapping of the deal entirely,” he claimed.
Gupta asserted the committee report nailed Delhi government on its AMC tender. ”The findings of the committee establish the open loot perpetrated in the AMC contract for the new DTC buses. The entire deal was meant to favour two companies as a quid pro quo and siphon off Rs 3,500 crore from the taxpayers’ money,” he alleged. The committee in its report found ”grave violations” of General Financial Rules 2017 in the maintenance contract of the buses, he claimed, sharing a purported copy of the report.
”The government ensured that only two companies could take part in the tendering process of the AMC contract. It did not set any benchmark price in the request for proposal. There is no record of any internal cost assessment for benchmark bids against an estimation,” said Gupta.
These companies were to be given Rs 30 crore every month, even when all the infrastructure requirements, bus driver, conductor, fuel are being ensured by the DTC, while other requirements are being fulfilled under warranty, he claimed. ”This was being done without any due diligence or assessment of a reasonable cost. The committee recommended that the bid for AMC of buses be scrapped. It also suggested fresh bid for AMC with relevant service level agreements and ensuring wider participation,” he said.
The bus procurement process was put on hold by the Transport department due to the enquiry by the LG-appointed committee.