Goa: Gomant Vidya Niketan Facelift Project Kicks Up Row In Margao

Goa: Gomant Vidya Niketan Facelift Project Kicks Up Row In Margao

Controversy surrounds Margao's beautification project: allegations of misuse of funds and incomplete work emerge

THE GOAN NETWORKUpdated: Wednesday, September 13, 2023, 05:10 PM IST
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MARGAO: Installation of musical instruments, including a saxophone and guitar at the frontage of the Gomant Vidya Niketan under the Margao Municipal Council’s beautification plan may have given a facelift to the place in tune with the history of the 111-year old city’s premiere cultural institution.

The musical instruments, however, may not be music to the ears of the City Fathers and the powers that be as the beautification project has kicked up a row of sorts with city-based NGO Shadow Council for Margao.

In fact, in a unique way of protesting the way public funds were used in the guise of beautification works undertaken by MMC, the Shadow Council along with citizens, called for the appointment of security guards to prevent the of the “very costly” installations provided to the Gomant Vidya Niketan compound wall as part of the beautification work.

Only 2 musical instruments affixed on main gate

SCM convenor Savio Coutinho told the media that the major 440 volt shock is felt in item no. 14, which speaks of providing four numbers of musical installations, worth a whopping amount of ₹3.10 lakhs. However only two musical instruments (saxophone and guitar), have been found affixed on the main/front entrance gate.

He said, as part of the beautification tender, various items of work were proposed to be undertaken for the beautification of the GVN compound. “The total estimated cost for all the items connected to GVN being ₹10,81,338. This happens to be 54% of the estimated cost of the entire beautification work which was tendered. If one looks at the list of items in the work schedule, and compares it with the work actually executed, the gross violations will become evident,” he claimed.

Coutinho made another startling revelation saying the estimates for this project and another three projects were prepared by private agencies, and the municipal engineers were made to sign the estimates as if prepared by MMC engineers, while demanding for an inquiry, and recovery of losses to the Council.

He added: “As per item no. 9, a stainless steel railing was supposed to be provided, but what has been provided on site is mild steel railings. Item No. 10 speaks of 60 lazer cut musical notes at Rs 5180 each. What you find on site is miniature musical notes, though larger in number, the proportionate rate per note would be an exorbitant amount of 1600 per piece”.

Funds allocated vs actual work done

Dinesh Kakodkar, a fabricator by profession, told the media that being in the field for 35 years, he can very easily say that the work that is executed, doesn’t match up with the amounts paid at all.

Meanwhile, reacting to allegations by Shadow Council, MMC Ward Councilor Shagun Naik said the estimates were all prepared by the municipal engineers and the beautification project was inaugurated after a nod from the technical section. “If there is some lacunae in the project, the municipal engineers can be asked to look into the same and make the necessary rectifications,” he said, adding that the beautification project was initiated after obtaining NOC from GVN.

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