Arvind Kejriwal is in news for all the wrong reasons once again. The Delhi government led by him has been under the scanner for a number of fiscally flawed deals being done.
This time the can of worms opened up in the controversial order of 1000 low-floor buses through the Deputy Commissioner(DTC) given by the Delhi Government.
The order for the buses is done on shaky foundations, wherein graft is visible from the very announcement of the tender given under the Transport ministry.
The Arvind Kejriwal government, which grossly violated the CVC guidelines and General Financial Rules (GFR) in the procurement of 1000 low-floor buses, backtracked and scraped the tender process only after a comprehensive report by the Deputy Transport Commissioner (DTC) exposed all the wrongdoings being carried out under the direct supervision of Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gehlot.
Wrongful intentions are clearly visible from the very undersigning of the deal itself. The DTC order, which was once endorsed by the Additional Chief Secretary(Transportation) himself earlier, contains not a single signature by Kailash Gehlot, the Transport Minister. Instead, the Secretary to the Minister signed the report by noting that ‘the Chairman DTC/Hon’ble Minister (Transport) has seen it’.
The Transport Ministry could not be immediately reached for comments.
The series of violations can be observed from the very issuing of the Request For Proposal(RFP) for the order itself.
Interestingly, the deviations from the specifications of the RFP in violation of the rules, as recommended by the Tender Committee headed by Kailash Gehlot, were already approved by the MD, DTC, and the Transport Minister himself on 06.11.2019, a day before it was placed before the DTC Board for approval, i.e. on 07.11.2019.
The formulation of the committee and its recommendations to the ministry were done by the same party,i.e., Kailash Gehlot himself.
Some of the major highlights of the file dated 27th December 2019 of the Deputy Commissioner are important to note here.
- The DTC had floated the tender with RFP No CGM/SBU/924/2019/AC for the procurement of 1000 buses and it was a single tender for the 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….merely bifurcation of two types of buses did not ever change the RFP into two separate tenders. [Page 27/C para 7 (i & ii)]
- M/s TATA Motors Ltd. made a bid for 600 buses only and, therefore, its bid should have been summarily rejected. [Page 26/C para 7 (ii)]
- It is clear that the consultant (DIMTS) and the Tender Committee of DTC did not correctly evaluate the financial bids. [Page 26/C para 7 (vi)]
- After the rejection of Tata Motors, there would have been a single bid of M/s JBM and the examination of this tender would have been on an entirely different footing. [Page 26/C para 7 (vii)]
- DTC invited M/s JBM for negotiation for BS-IV 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. [Page 26/C para 7 (viii)]
- Interestingly, there was a specific requirement of front-facing seats in the RFP but both the Consultant (DIMTS) and DTC Tender Committee did not reject JBM’s bid for want of this condition. [Page 26/C para 7 (ix)]
- Since the buses offered by M/s JBM did not have front-facing seats as per the condition of the RFP, its bid should have been rejected at the techno-commercial stage itself and there was no justification to open the financial bid of a bidder whose bus did not meet the specifications. [Page 25/C para 7 (x)]
- The RFP contained a proforma for deviation but M/s JBM did not mention any deviation from the specifications and therefore, DTC should not have considered the bid. [Page 25/C para 7 (xi)]
- This RFP/Tender process has been vitiated and the DTC must inquire into the matter and fix responsibility for the lapses. [Page 25/C para 7 (xiii)]
- For the abovementioned reasons, it is recommended that the DTC should scrap the tender and should call for fresh bids without any delay. [Page 25/C para 7 (xiv)]
The Kejriwal government has committed a number of shoddy agreements for the procurement of public facilities in recent times for now. It is high time that the national commentariat comes out of its political bias to judge where the water is murky, and to call out the corrupt irrespective of their position against the ruling dispensation at the center.