The ‘Hampi by night’ project, under which visitors to the historic town get to see monuments lit up at night, has run into rough weather due to alleged irregularities in the allotment of work contract and project implementation.
The district administration has stalled work on the project and seized equipment at the work site.
It had written to the State government in this regard 10 months ago, but no action has been taken till date. Bellary Deputy Commissioner (DC) says the next course of action will be taken after instructions from the government in this regard.
The State government had, in 2010, given the work contract for the project to Innovative Lighting Systems, a Bangalore-based company. This despite the fact that Innovative had quoted the cost at Rs 11.50 crore, Rs two crore more than Integrated Digital Solution Company, when tenders were called.
Another drawback of Innovative is that it has no past experience in implementing projects of this kind, though the rules necessitate it. Innovative has only implemented sound and light works by getting sub-contracts from other firms. The Delhi firm was overlooked despite having undertaken such works in the past. The letter by the district administration wonders why it was ignored.
Innovative was paid the money for the work even before it started. But the rules stipulate that bills must be cleared only after a third party inspection of the quality of work.
The Archaeological Survey of India too is reportedly not happy with the lighting work undertaken in Hampi.
Krishnakumar, project director of Innovative, told Deccan Herald that he was not aware of the DC’s letter to the government.