The Lieutenant Governor (LG) of Delhi VK Saxena has approved the proposal to forward a complaint to the CBI about the alleged irregularities in the procurement of 1,000 low-floor buses by the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC).
The complaint was registered by the Chief Secretary of Delhi Transport Corporation. The complaint was filed on June 9, which stated the appointment of the Minister of Transport as the Chairman of the Committee for tendering and procurement of buses by DTC was done in a “pre-mediated manner”.
Irregularities in the bid of July 2019 for procurement of 1000 low floor BS-IV and BS-VI buses and a bid of March 2020 for purchase and annual maintenance contract of low floor BS-VI buses, read the complaint.
The said complaint was forwarded to the Chief Secretary on July 11 for eliciting comments from the concerned departments of the Government of N.C.T of Delhi (GNCTD) and recommend the way forward.
The report, thus, substantiated the claims made in the complaint. The same discrepancies were clearly brought out in a report by the Deputy Commissioner, DTC.
There were various irregularities found after a detailed examination of the documents by DTC.
The discrepancy in the document read, ” The DTC had floated the tender with RFP No CGM/SBU/924/2019/AC for procurement of 1000 buses and it was a single tender for supply of 1000 BS-IV or latest buses. In the pre-bid, the quantity of 1000 buses was bifurcated into 400 BS-IV buses and 600 BS-VI buses but the tender still remained one only and the bidders could have made the bid for the entire quantity of these buses of both types”.
Another irregularity that was found was that M/s TATA Motors Ltd made a bid for 600 buses only. At the same time, JBM made a bid for 1000 buses (400 BS-IV and 600 BS-VI) at a rate higher than Tata Motors. In effect, JBM became the single bidder and therefore, the tender should have been rejected and a fresh tender should have been called by the Tender Committee.
However, the bidding consultant (DIMTS) and the Tender Committee of DTC did not correctly evaluate the financial bids. The Committee declared M/S TATA Motors Ltd eligible for the bid of 600 BS-VI buses.
It was further found that DTC invited M/s JBM for negotiation for BS-IV buses on the basis of rates of TATA which never made any bid for this category. This action of DTC was without any justification and the price negotiation with M/s JBM is violative of GFR and CVC guidelines.
Interestingly, there was a specific requirement of front-facing seats in the RFP but both the Consultant and DTC Tender Committee did not reject JBM’s bid for want of this condition.
The report by the Chief Secretary also brings out clearly that the Committee headed by OP Aggrawal, IAS (Retd.) to look into the charges of irregularities and corruption in the procurement of buses in June 2021, in its report submitted in August 2021, clearly indicted the AAP government for “procedural deviations in the entire tendering and procurement procedure”.
Criminal misconduct by public servants in this tender exercise will be ascertained by the investigating agency, i.e. the CBI.
On the basis of this, Chief Secretary recommended referring the matter to CBI, which was approved by the LG.
The Aam Admi Party (AAP) in response to the CBI investigation said, “LG is facing many serious allegations of corruption. To divert attention, he is making such inquiries. All inquiries so far have yielded no results. After making frivolous complaints against three ministers (CM, Dy CM and Health Min), he has now made a complaint against the fourth minister. He should first respond to the allegations of corruption against him”.
“These Buses were never purchased, and tenders were cancelled. Delhi needs a more educated LG. This man has no clue what he is signing on”, said the AAP party.