Mumbai: ‘Will drag penguin contractor to HC’, opposition

Mumbai : Leader of Opposition in the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM), Pravin Chedda has threatened to approach the Bombay High Court against the tainted contractor hired for looking after the eight Humboldt penguins at the Byculla Zoo.

It was revealed that M/s Highway Construction Company had deceived the civic body by submitting fake work experience in order to get the contract worth Rs 50 crore. Chedda demanded that a high-level departmental inquiry be initiated against the officials, including the HoDs of the Building Maintenance Department and Byculla Zoo, for gross negligence and connivance with the contractor.

The recommendation and confirmation letter bearing the names of American science and animal centres to the MCGM chief engineer was submitted between July 2014 and December 2015 by Highway Construction Company.

Chedda said, “It is nothing but forgery and cheating. It shows the contractor’s intention to cheat the MCGM and it amounts to a criminal conspiracy to dupe the civic body. Civic chief Ajoy Mehta must order the MCGM to file an FIR against the contractor.”

FPJ had earlier reported that the two companies, namely M/s Highway Construction Company, which handles civic projects, and Austin-based Sivaat Services, which specialises in aquatic exhibits, did not have a joint venture.

Highway Construction Company was hired for taking care of the penguins and this proves that the company, which never had experience of handling aquatic animals, was hired for the Humboldt penguin project.

Chedda said, “If the MCGM does not take any action against the contractor, we will file a petition in the Bombay High Court.”

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