Govt begins reservation of projects for SC/ST contractors

Sand mining blocks, 11 BBMP skywalks go to the community

Govt begins reservation of projects for SC/ST contractors

 As part of its economic empowerment plan for dalits, the state government has started reserving contracts in some departments to SCs and STs. In recent tenders called by the Public Works Department (PWD) and the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), certain works related to sand blocks and skywalks were reserved for SCs and STs.

Reservation is, however, restricted to works below Rs 50 lakh. The previous Jitan Ram Manjhi government in Bihar had also reserved of 50 percent of projects not exceeding Rs 15 lakh to dalit contractors. Tenders called by the BBMP reserved 11 of the 41 proposed skywalks to SC/STs while the Davangere division of the PWD reserved nine sand mining blocks to the community. 

The Legislative panel on SCs/STs welfare had suggested reservation for dalits in mining (only for minor minerals) and all government works taken up by the PWD. The panel, headed by MLA PM Narendraswamy had suggested 24.1 percent reservation in all works below Rs 50 lakh undertaken by the PWD and in sand and granite mining to “economically empower’’ weaker sections.

Secretary, (Social Welfare department), Gangaram Baderiya told Deccan Herald that a proposal to bring reservation for all procurements and works taken through the The Karnataka Transparency in Public Procurement (KTPP) Act by all government agencies is pending before the finance department for approval.

Referring to reserving contracts for SCs/ST contractors, E Venkataiah, adviser to the Social Welfare Department said, “Individual departments might have done it on their own after a government circular.’’

The Social Welfare department has demanded a similar reservation for the community in sanctioning liquor shop licences. “The proposal is pending before the Finance Department,'' Venkataiah said.

Asked if such reservations would affect the quality of works, Narendraswamy said it was the job of the quality control cell to ensure quality. “Do you assure that all works done by others are 100 percent quality works? We cannot deny rights of these people on that pretext,’’ he said.

Reserved sand blocks

Tenders called by the PWD for sand blocks and godowns in three taluks at Harihar, Honnali and Harapanahalli in Davangere by the PWD executive engineer reserved the following blocks to SC/STs: Badaganalu, Malahalli, Malali, Balleshwara, Beli Malluru - 2, Bullapura, Bagewadi, Vatlahalli (Kadati) - 1.

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