3 successful bidders share same address
In his complaint to the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption, its convenor Jayaram Venkatesan said the civic body had floated tenders for construction and maintenance of 400 bus shelters under the build-operate-transfer model in 2015.
Former Local Administration minister SP Velumani and Greater Chennai Corporation officials favoured some firms that have no experience to win the tender to construct and maintain 400 stainless steel bus shelters, alleged Arappor Iyakkam, an anti-graft organisation. These companies are related to each other, it added, pegging the alleged corruption at Rs 437 crore over 15 years.
In his complaint to the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption, its convenor Jayaram Venkatesan said the civic body had floated tenders for construction and maintenance of 400 bus shelters under the build-operate-transfer model in 2015. The successful bidder would pay the amount to the civic body for a concession period of 15 years, during which it can collect revenue for the advertisements.
The concession amount quoted by the bidders was about Rs 13,000 to Rs 18,000 per bus stop per year. However, he added, each bus stop yields around Rs 12 lakh to Rs 18 lakh per year.
“Due to fear of action, the officials cancelled the tenders and floated retender during which the bidders quoted Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs. 1.8 lakh per bus stop, which is a 10-fold increase. This shows collusion between bidders and officials,” the complaint said.
Of the four companies that expressed interest, one was disqualified in the technical round itself.
The remaining three shared the eight packages that were up for grab, he alleged.
That is not all. These three companies were incorporated just six months before the tender and all of them had the same registered office, which suggested that the three firms are controlled the same set of people, the complaint said, and added that if the contract is allowed to continue till the end of the 15-year period (2015 to 2030), the firms would have pocketed Rs 437 crore in the process.
“The Greater Chennai Corporation authorities should cancel bus shelter tenders awarded to these three firms,” Jayaram demanded, and urged the anti-corruption agency to file an FIR against Velumani and others, and conduct a thorough investigation to bring out the truth.