Transport department awarded fitness test contract without inviting bids: Cops
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Police claimed that the contract was awarded to the firm on a nomination basis with the approval of the Delhi Cabinet, and file notes on record indicated that approval for the nomination was given by the Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and then Transport Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely.
"It is apparent from the available record supplied by the Transport department that no tenders/bids were called. The inquiry revealed that the operation and maintenance of the above test lane was allotted to ESP India Pvt Ltd on nomination basis by Transport department with the approval of the Council of Ministers," the report says.
The report was filed on Monday before Special Judge Sangeeta Dhingra Sehgal, on a complaint by RTI activist advocate Vivek Garg alleging corruption in the award of contract for automated vehicle inspection and certification lanes for commercial vehicles and implementation of third-party inspection unit for testing CNG vehicles.
The report says the company was fraudulently given advance payment for construction of eight test lanes, even though only two lanes had actually been constructed and are in use.
"In July 2008, the department proposed eight additional lanes with an estimated cost of Rs 6.45 crore. However, the department later proposed four lanes and placed the order in September 2008 at a total cost of Rs 3.01 crore. The department proposed another four test lanes at total cost of Rs 3.01 crore. It has been observed that the purchases were made by splitting the work to avoid the necessity of obtaining the sanction of higher authority and money for installation of eight additional test lanes was disbursed by Transport department in advance in 2008," the report says.
With regard to allegations made in the complaint about the high prices being charged by ESP India for issuing fitness certificates, the report observes that a sister firm of the company had initially submitted a proposal to conduct the tests at much lower prices.
"It is pertinent that when the same company through its sister firm was ready to do this test at Rs 250 per vehicle, then on what grounds M/S ESP India was allowed to charge Rs 480 per vehicle. This revealed that fair proceeding was not adopted by the Transport department," the report says.
The court is expected to give its order for registration of the FIR on December 3.
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