Lokayukta told to look intos CMC expense
Kolar City Municipality accused of misusing funds reserved for SC/ST citizens
The district unit of the DYFI has complained to the Lokayukta accusing the City Municipal Council of irregularities amounting to lakhs of rupees in the purchase of equipment for scheduled caste and tribe beneficiaries.
The members of the unit said the CMC was supposed to use the 22.75 per cent reserved in the CMC’s funds for SC/ST members.
At a press conference on Thursday DYFI district unit secretary Vijayakrishna, taluk unit president A V Ramesh and vice-president K V Manjunath, said the Lokayukta was requested to investigate and take action against Ramadas, who was the CMC commissioner in 2010, then president K N Madhusudan Kumar, vice-president V K Rajesh, standing committee chairperson Raut Shankarappa and committee members Lal Bahadur Shastri, Ramesh, Jyothi and Kanthamma.
“Purchase norms were flouted while buying computers, sewing machines and multigym. The CMC has spent almost two to three times the rates of the machines. The Municipality has also not ensured proper distribution of the equipment and in several instances given them to ineligible candidates. The multigym equipment lying idle in the godowns,” the members complained.
The CMC failed to call tenders in accordance with Transparency Act in 2010, and purchased 38 computers from a shop in Bangalore. It did not advertise, get quality permits from the Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals (DGS&D), New Delhi, or got the quality checked by an expert, said the DYFI members.
“When the staff at the computer shop in Bangalore were contacted, they said the instruments purchased by the CMC were worth about Rs 25,000, but the Municipality spent Rs 76,209 per instrument and a total of Rs 28.95 lakh. There have been irregularities of about Rs 17.55 lakh even in the purchase of software,” they added.
“This shows the hand in glove decisions of the CMC officers and the elected representatives.”
When challenged with the Right To Information Act, the CMC mentioned it had purchased sewing machines from Sunrise Enterprises, Kolar. The next time, it said the supplier was Swarna Industries, said the complainants.
“The market price of the sewing machine is only Rs 5,000 to Rs 6,000, but the Municipality has paid almost twice - Rs 10,450 each. Also, although it was supposed to pay for the sewing machines in two instalments, the CMC drafted a cheque, number 199567, for Rs 9,92,750, to pay for the machines at one go,” they added.
The multigyms purchased in 2010 for Rs 7,36,438 have not been distributed yet and are all idling in the godowns. The societies and organisations registered have not been identified for the distribution too. “Instead, the CMC has handed the work to the taluk Social Welfare Department officer, who, however, failed to give any information on the matter,” said the complainants.
The DYFI members also complained about the substandard work undertaken by the CMC all over the city.
“The cement roads constructed in several parts have not lasted a month. Many cross roads at Gowripet, Doddapet and MG Road, main roads in Palasandra layout are in such condition,” they said and expressed suspicion over the silence of District In-charge Minister Varthur Prakash’s silence about the matter.
“The supporters of the Minister, who are ruling in the CMC, are misusing the funds that are legally reserved for the benefits of the Dalits. It is natural to be suspicious about the involvement of the Minister in using such illegally collected funds for the profit of his supporters,” they added.
“The Lokayukta was complained to on August 29 on the irregularities. Information was collected using the RTI Act. If there is no immediate investigation of the matter we will undertake a serious protest,” warned the DYFI members.