A scam of Rs 250 crore! This is what Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Mihir Kotecha has alleged against Shiv Sena leader and state Transport Minister Anil Parab, who also heads Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC). The state-run transport corporation had to renew its contract for e-ticketing machines (ETIM). BJP claims that it has been approved overnight for the benefit of a Gujarat-based contractor without following due process.
On March 17, in a press conference, BJP Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) Mihir Kotecha alleged that the ETIM contract for MSRTC will end in June this year. In July, last year, MSRTC officials and Minister Anil Parab, had a meeting where they decided to call for tenders. “But since then, it was lying idle and was awaiting signatures from the minister,” said Kotecha. “The officials reminded him a few times about the renewal, but it was ignored.”
Finally, in January, this year, a Gujarat-based company approached the minister’s office and they discussed the renewal of the contract. In early February, Kotecha alleged that there was a meeting and that there were also few changes made in the contract as well. “To benefit the contractor, the contract condition was amended and the participating company’s annual turnover was reduced from Rs 150 crore to Rs 100 crore. They also decreased the need to handle the number of ETIMs,” added Kotecha.
Other changes in the contract agreement were also allegedly carried out to apparently benefit this contractor. “The process was circumvented. One of the officials suggested approaching the MSRTC committee, as changes were done in the contract document. I have written to the chief minister to stop this illegal tender,” added Kotecha.
There are 38000 plus ETIMs with MSRTC that they have been running since 2008. Of the total ticket sales, 95 per cent of sales are from ETIMs, 4.9 per cent from online reservation and 0.1 percent is from mobile ticketing.