Chandigarh: Cleaning Plaza or cleaning govt coffers? Nod sought for expenditure of Rs 1.20 cr

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The Plaza in Sector 17, Chandigarh. (Express photo/Jaipal Singh)

CLEANING THE Plaza appears to have led to cleaning the government coffers.

To clean the Sector 17 Plaza which is the civic body’s routine job and for which the corporation already has over 100 sweepers, they said that they engaged Lion Services Limited for mechanised sweeping after evacuation of street vendors at a cost of Rs 30 lakh a month. The corporation intends to hire services of the company till March 2020 and wants approval of the House for a payment of Rs 1.20 crore to the company.

Now the civic body is bringing an agenda item in the General House meeting, which is to be held on January 21, for ex-post-facto approval to the expenditure as it was said that the firm already began cleaning on December 6 when the evacuation of vendors happened. The proposal is about floating a tender for one year extendable to three years and to introduce mechanised sweeping at the Plaza on a pilot basis.

“The firm has been executing the work since December 6, 2019, in public interest,” the agenda item says.

It was said that the town vending committee at its meeting on December 11, 2019, resolved to get ex post facto approval to the expenditure of Rs 30 lakh made by the MOH wing on the cleanliness during the evacuation drive in Sector 17 and sought to route its proposal through the Finance and Contract Committee of the MC.

It was stated that an agenda item was placed before the Finance and Contract Committee on December 31, 2019, which approved the proposal to make payment up to January 5, 2020, to the Lion Services Limited and also gave its nod to let the company continue providing sanitation services in Sector 17 up to March 31, 2020, subject to approval of the General House. The tentative expenditure of this period comes out to be Rs 1.20 crore.

Already questions have been raised on the functioning of Lion Services Limited that has been carrying out mechanised sweeping in southern sectors. Councillor Davesh Moudgil had demanded a probe into the allotment of the contract. However, after Moudgil became the mayor, he mostly kept silent on the issue.

Activists have demanded a probe into the allotment of contract to the company. “Cleaning Sector 17 has now become a money-minting game for the corporation. Everyone is well aware of the services that the company is providing in southern belt,” activist R K Garg said. ‘’Has anyone even checked the cleaning actually being done?”

Medical officer of health Amrit Pal Singh said that “the Plaza has been completely clean ever since the services of the company were hired”.

“We have asked the House to discuss the possibility of floating a fresh tender. But if you see, now Plaza is being cleaned round the clock and not just eight hours as it was being done earlier,” the MOH told Chandigarh Newsline.

Signboards

IN THE General House meeting, the civic body will be bringing an agenda item of Rs 2.42 crore which, it says, will be spent on fixing different types of signboards for road users. The MC says that traffic police said that many signboards are missing and thus an amount of Rs 2.42 crore will be incurred on the same.