Sewing machine scam: MBMC orders probe

Bhayandar: Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) Commissioner Balaji Khatgaonkar has ordered a probe into the sewing machines purchase scam that rocked the women and child welfare committee in MBMC. The matter was raised by Shiv Sena corporator Kusum Gupta and highlighted by The Free Press Journal.

To make women financially self-reliant, the BJP-led committee had given a nod to purchase 170 sewing machines. The tender procurement process was followed, but surprisingly these automatic sewing machines that are available in the retail market for Rs 6,800 (per unit) were purchased in bulk at the rate of Rs 11,600 (per unit). Additional Municipal Commissioner Dr Sushil Lahane has been deputed to conduct a probe and submit a report within seven days.

Consequently, show cause notices were issued to officials handling the committee and to members of the tender committee, which has also come under the scanner of investigations.

, thus making citizens wonder if there are any checks to prevent such type of brazen corruption.

“Let’s wait for the report,” said Khatgaonkar while hinting strict action, including registration of FIRs and a recovery process against those found guilty in the probe.

“We have heard of all kinds of scams. But here in MBMC, they have not even spared funds meant for the welfare of the underprivileged section of the society. It is a clear case of inflated pricing via collusive bidding aimed at exploiting the civic exchequer. I am happy that a probe is ordered,” said Gupta.

However, concerned officials continued to maintain that the entire procurement process was transparent and work orders were issued to the lowest bidder.

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