BJP alleges scam in bus procurement by Delhi govt; minister says Rs 225 crore saved

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New Delhi, Mar 11 (PTI) The opposition BJP on Thursday alleged irregularities in procurement of buses by the Delhi government, evoking sharp reaction from Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot who said Rs 225 crore was saved while procuring 1,000 low-floor CNG buses for the Delhi Transport Corporation.

Speaking in the Delhi Assembly, the minister asserted that the city government will procure more buses and challenged the BJP to stop it.

Delhi BJP MLA Vijender Gupta alleged a 'scam' in the procurement of buses and listed various objections regarding tenders and annual maintenance provisions.

'The tenders for 1,000 buses and their annual maintenance were floated separately. The cost of annual maintenance comes out to be more than the actual cost of the buses,' he said in the Assembly.

Gupta also claimed that each bus came with a warranty of three years, but the annual maintenance charge started within the warranty period.

Denying the allegations, the Delhi transport minister said the BJP MLA always filed complaints with different agencies whenever the AAP government tried to procure buses.

'It is after 12 years that the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) is going to have new buses. We have already rolled out 1,600 buses in the last one year. More buses will come, do what you want to do,' Gahlot asserted.

Giving a point-wise reply to the charges, the minister said, 'The decision for two tenders for procurement of buses and a comprehensive annual maintenance were taken by the Cabinet in July 2019. We saved Rs 225 crore on annual maintenance by bringing down per kilometer rate from Rs 48.50 to Rs 45.50.' He also said that the warranty period of the buses did not include 71 things that were covered in the provision for annual maintenance.

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