Tender norms violated in Rs 2,500-cr housing scheme, charges BJP

Tender norms violated in Rs 2,500-cr housing scheme, charges BJP

Bids awarded to those close to Housing minister, KSDB chief, say leaders

The state BJP on Wednesday charged that tender norms for a Rs 2,500-crore housing scheme were being flouted to award contracts to those close Housing Minister M Krishnappa and Karnataka Slum Development Board (KSDB) chairman R V Devaraj.

Addressing a press conference here, senior leaders Jagadish Shettar and K S Eshwarappa charged that the irregularities pertain to the centrally sponsored Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana for building 50,000 houses in the state, being implemented by KSDB.

They said tenders were first called for implementing the project on September 12, 2017. A committee headed by the chief secretary divided the projects into 99 packages for implementation.

They charged that KSDB technical director N P Balaraju reworked the packages to 43 in violation of rules. The project was awarded to 10 contractors.

Shettar said, in December 2017, Devaraj wrote to the commissioner of the KSDB that there were large-scale irregularities in the tender-awarding process. Contractors with fake documents had bagged the project, he said. The tenders were quashed on the recommendation of an internal committee.

Eshwarappa said tenders were called afresh and the same contractors had applied.

“Short-term tenders have been invited. Why the hurry for such a large scheme? Our information is that Krishnappa and Devaraj have come to an understanding to award the tenders to contractors of their choice and share 10% commission in the entire project,” Eshwarappa charged.

However, the BJP has not released any documents to substantiate its charge. Copies of the letter written by Devaraj to the commissioner were released to the media. Shettar demanded that a CBI probe should be ordered to investigate the “scam”.

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