Rs 500 cr scam in DJB, alleges BJP

| | New Delhi
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Rs 500 cr scam in DJB, alleges BJP

Monday, 27 November 2023 | Staff Reporter | New Delhi

Delhi BJP has alleged a scam of Rs 500 crore in the Delhi Jal Board in connection with awarding contracts related to upgradation and augmentation works to a single bidder.  According to BJP,   the contractor had not submitted the detailed project reports (DPRs) as mandated in the government tendering process. 

Delhi BJP president Virendra Sachdeva has sent a detailed notes to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CB), Enforcement Directorate as well as Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena, seeking cancellation of the awards and a probe against officials and the concerned minister who had shown undue haste in awarding the projects.

Sachdeva revealed that while the concerned minister was not competent to approve the decision, the Delhi government went ahead with the award of the works. In a press statement, Sachdeva said that the due diligence with the Taiwanese embassy was also not obtained in awarding the works even while the competence of the said contactor was well known.

According to Sachdeva, only two bidders participated for four packages of works, which were parceled with clear intents to award the works in a premeditated manner, and each got the projects awarded. He further that the tendering tweaks lowered the technical criteria with reduced timeline with aim to keep the genuine contractors away from participating in the tendering process.

Sachdeva also alleged that out of the 10 STPs (sewage treatment plant), only five were shortlisted for upgradation while rest were taken up for upgradation/ augmentation at a cost of Rs 1938 crores in 2022. Shockingly, DPRs were made available only for two STPs – Kondli and Rohini. In a startling revelation, he stated in the letters to the investigative agencies that the mandated consideration of the local factors such as soil strength, sewage quality and peak flow data and others were not even sought before hurriedly awarding the works.

“Former DJB CEO  Udit Prakash (Deputy Secy. to Govt of India) worked in undue haste in obtaining approvals from Board on 30.5.2022 even though he was transferred to Health & Family Welfare Dept. Appointment of  Udit Prakash was also void ab initio since no officer below rank of Joint Secretary is eligible to be posted as CEO DJB,” he said.

He also pointed out hat rates increased during Negotiation with L1 bidder, from Rs. 392 .04 Crores to Rs. 408.04 Crores. Negotiations were done without the approval of Competent Authority and in violation of or with adhering to the mandate under clause 5.1.8(1) of CPWD Manual, 2019.

 “Estimates prepared by consultant M/s NJS Engineers India Pvt. Ltd. were used for cost estimation of all STPs, despite the fact that consultant’s work was not found satisfactory in preparation of estimates. Estimates were prepared by this consultant on the basis of single quotation basis resulting in the estimates being higher than market rate,” said Sachdeva.

“During the process the rates of items / works (mainly civil works) not required to be done on the ground were included and suggestive rates were prepared on higher sides and thereafter works were awarded at Rs. 1938 Crores i.e. 28% higher than the estimated cost of Rs.1508 crores,” Sachdeva added.

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