No school bags for 15K as BBMP delays supply

No school bags for 15K as BBMP delays supply

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A potent mix of red tape, differences between departments and sheer ignorance has led to the denial of school bags to a majority of 15,000 children studying in BBMP schools.

Not a single school under the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has received fresh stock of bags. Half of the academic year is over but officials have many reasons for the delay, from the file being “lost in transit” to a wrangle between BBMP’s education department and a standing committee on education.

A senior official said distribution of school bags was delayed as the corporation was yet to issue the work order to the agency designated to supply the bags.

Another official said the process of issuing work orders was delayed as a “file was lost in transit between various departments such as the administration and education”. The opposition raised by the standing committee on education over the poor quality of bags has added to the woes.

S G Raveendra, special commissioner, education, BBMP said to avoid the delay in the tender process, it was decided to give work order to the same supplier who supplied bags and shoes to schools last year unless complaints were raised against him.

Poll code of conduct

“This is the second year. In between, we also had the election code of conduct. We had written to the Election Commission seeking permission. However, we were told to wait. This also led to the delay,” he said.

A source in the BBMP said even as the file has been placed before the official concerned, he was awaiting the term of the present standing committee on education to come to an end, in a fortnight now.

Objections raised

Gangamma Rajanna, chairman, standing committee on education, said on inspection, the committee found that the designated supplier had given substandard bags to schools and hence, they raised objections.

“We asked that another supplier, who had participated in the bid, be given the work order. Each time we asked officials, we were told that the file was ‘lost’” she said.

However, a senior BBMP official said awarding work to the second bidder would violate the Karnataka Transparency in Public Procurement Act and re-tender had to be called if another supplier had to be given the work order.