CIDCO Projects Issued During Cong-NCP Rule: Devendra Fadnavis

The CAG report on public sector undertakings (PSUs) was tabled in the state legislature on Wednesday, 4 March.

3 min read
Former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has pointed out poor planning and execution and financial irregularities in the works of over Rs 2,000 crore carried out by City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO), the Maharashtra government's infrastructure agency.

Asked about the CAG's observations, BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis, who was chief minister between 2014 to 2019, said tenders of railway and metro projects were issued during the earlier Congress-NCP combine rule.

Further, the chief minister or other ministers do not control CIDCO which is an autonomous body, he said.

The CAG report for the period ending March 2018 mainly referred to three projects Navi Mumbai international airport, Nerul-Uran railway project and Navi Mumbai Metro.

The CAG report on public sector undertakings (PSUs) was tabled in the state legislature on Wednesday, 4 March.

The infrastructure works carried out by CIDCO did not emerge out of a ‘systematic and comprehensive’ plan, with the result that proposals were sanctioned on case-to-case basis, the CAG said.

The planning for Nerul-Uran railway project and Navi Mumbai Metro was inadequate, the CAG said.

Global tenders for projects including the Navi Mumbai international airport and Navi Mumbai Metro were not published in international publications, it pointed out.

Advertisements of 16 tenders, each with estimated cost of Rs 50 crore or more, were not issued in leading newspapers at the national level in violation of guidelines, the report said. In the case of six contracts with estimated cost of Rs 890.42 crore, the selected contractors did not possess the minimum prescribed work value experience, the CAG alleged.

In ten contracts worth Rs 429.89 crore, existing contractors were awarded additional works of Rs 69.38 crore without inviting fresh tenders in violation of guidelines, it added.

In a contract worth Rs1,328 crore related to the Navi Mumbai Metro, excess ‘mobilisation advance' of Rs 25.33 crore was paid in violation of contract conditions, the CAG said.

In 22 contracts worth Rs 4,759.94 crore, CIDCO did not recover compensation for delay amounting to Rs 185.97 crore from the contractors, nor did it recover liquidated damages from consultants for Navi Mumbai Metro and Nerul-Uran rail projects, the CAG said.

In three contracts valued at Rs 2,033.72 crore for the airport project, CIDCO paid Rs 22.08 crore as ‘price variation on material component’ though these works were carried out by cutting the hill and using the rocks obtained from the hill, the report said.

Talking to reporters, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Devendra Fadnavis denied that the then BJP-led government under him was to blame for the alleged irregularities.

‘The CAG report reviews several CIDCO works carried out during April 2013 and March 2018 tenders of two projects, Navi Mumbai Metro and Nerul-Uran railway, were issued before 2014 (before he became chief minister in the October of that year),’ the BJP leader said.

‘All decisions regarding the projects were taken prior to 2014. Some objections have been raised (by the CAG) about it too. The decision of giving advances was taken in September 2014 and tenders were issued in August 2014,’ Fadnavis told reporters outside the state legislature building here.

Further, it is CIDCO’s governing board which issues and awards tenders while officials sanction advances to contractors, he said.

The Public Accounts Committee of the legislature will go through the CAG's objections before action is taken, he noted.

‘The irregularities must be probed, whether committed during our period or theirs (NCP and Congress). But I also say that the chief minister or minister is not directly linked to it,’ he added.

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

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