Mira-Bhayandar: Govt Seeks Report From MBMC In ₹2.4 Cr Covid-19 Ambulance 'Scam'

Mira-Bhayandar: Govt Seeks Report From MBMC In ₹2.4 Cr Covid-19 Ambulance 'Scam'

The state government authorities have directed the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) to submit a detailed report in context to the contract given to a private agency for providing ambulance services during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Suresh GolaniUpdated: Saturday, May 18, 2024, 08:33 PM IST
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Mumbai: The state government authorities have directed the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) to submit a detailed report in context to the contract given to a private agency for providing ambulance services during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The directives issued by the state government’s urban development department (UDD) on 29, April, 2024 is in response to a request moved by the additional director general (ADG) of the anti-corruption bureau (ACB) seeking a nod for conducting investigations into a complaint registered by social activist- Krishna Gupta alleging massive anomalies and corruption in the ambulance hiring tender aimed at doling out undue monetary benefits amounting more than Rs.2.42 crore to a Vasai-based contractual agency.

In his written submission to the ACB, on 5, February, 2024, Gupta on the virtue of data obtained through the Right to Information (RTI) Act stated that the MBMC had roped in the agency to hire 12 ambulances to ferry Covid-19 patients from one hospital to another, or from their homes to the Covid care centres for four months between 3, July, 2020 to 30, November, 2020.

Gupta has alleged that a bunch of civic officials including the erstwhile civic chief, gave a free hand to the contractor for violating the mandated guidelines while manipulating the pricing structure and fabricating data of the distance travelled by the ambulances leading to a jump in bills from the legitimate Rs.48,90,746 to Rs.2,91,05,850 thus causing a loss of more than Rs.2.42 crore to the civic exchequer.

“Apart from discrepancy in fares as compared to authorized pricing structure fixed by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Transport Authority (MMRTA), the contractor has also inflated bills under the garb of waiting charges and small split trips/kms. Moreover, tender conditions envisaging 24-hour services, integration of SPERO App with the toll free 108 ambulance service system, smartphones in each ambulance with adequate internet connectivity were brazenly blown to the wind.” alleged Gupta.

What is 17A of the Corruption Act?

The ACB request is in adherence to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions (Department of Personnel& Training) dated 3, September, 2021 for processing of cases under section 17A of the Prevention of Corruption Act which stipulates mandatory requirement for a police officer to seek a prior approval for conducting any enquiry into any offence alleged to have committed by a public servant.

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