Mumbai: A new allegation has raised questions on the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) project launched prior to the Lok Sabha election. The Congress has alleged corruption in the tendering of the Rs14,000 crore project, which entails construction of nearly 90,000 affordable houses.
The claims have been rubbished by the City and Industrial Development Corporation, the authority overseeing this project. Sachin Sawant, general secretary of Congress, has alleged the tender rules are being tweaked to favour certain crony contractors.
The project is being planned for Taloja at Navi Mumbai, Bamandongri, Juinagar, Kharghar, Panvel, Kharkopar and Kalamboli. Of the 90,000 flats, 53,000 units will be constructed under the economically-weaker sections (EWS) and 37,000 in the lower-income group (LIG) categories. The project is being implemented by the CIDCO at Navi Mumbai.
The CIDCO has rejected the allegations. “CIDCO strictly follows the directions of the Central Vigilance Commission in tendering. The Congress allegations are baseless,” Priya Ratambe, the CIDCO spokesperson, stated.
“The Mantralaya has been converted into a den of tender management and all care has been taken that only those companies, who are close to the ruling parties, will get the tenders.
PMAYS tender corruption is related to the Metro Bhavan construction scam too,” Sawant said in a press conference at the Congress office in Mumbai on Thursday.
CIDCO has proposed to build 89,771 houses in neighbouring Navi Mumbai under the scheme and PM Modi had performed a bhumi pujan before the LS poll in Dombivli, he said.
In the first tender meeting, the CIDCO chief engineer, said it was proposed to be divided into 8-9 components, Sawant said. But in the second meeting, “surprising changes” were made in the tender conditions at the pretext of attracting big players, and the project was divided into four components, he alleged.
“In the third meeting, the components were revised in such a way each will cost Rs3,500 crore. Instead of allowing many players to bid for the contract, the government ensured the conditions were amended to favour four crony contractors,” he said.
When the Congress leader sought information on the tender process, a fifth contractor was asked to bid to make it look like a fair process, he claimed. However, his application was cancelled and later was compensated by giving him the Metro Rail Bhavan project.