MHA orders preliminary probe by CBI into alleged corruption in procurement of 1,000 low floor DTC buses

By: |
August 19, 2021 9:20 PM

Delhi BJP had raised the matter of corruption in the annual maintenance contract (AMC) of the bus procurement by the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) in Delhi Assembly in March this year.

Delhi BJP MLA Vijender Gupta alleged a scam of thousands of crores of rupees in bus procurement.

In a move that may further sour the relationship between the Delhi government and the Centre, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has recommended a preliminary inquiry by the CBI into the procurement of 1,000 low-floor buses by the AAP government. MHA Additional Secretary (Union Territory) Govind Mohan wrote a letter to the Delhi Chief Secretary Vijay Dev on August 16 informing the Delhi government about the CBI probe.

“I am writing this in connection with the purchase of 1,000 low-floor buses by the Delhi government and the report submitted by the three-member committee constituted by the Government of NCT Delhi for a detailed enquiry into the matter….The matter has been examined in this ministry and with the approval of competent authority, the DoPT has been requested to take necessary action for undertaking Preliminary Enquiry in the matter by the Central Bureau of Investigation,” PTI reported quoting the MHA letter.

The Delhi government, however, has refuted the charges of corruption. It accused the Centre of harassing the state government by using the CBI. “BJP should do a CBI inquiry, nothing will come out of it. Earlier also Shunglu committee had examined 450 files, they did not find anything,” said AAP spokesperson and MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj.

Delhi BJP had raised the matter of corruption in the annual maintenance contract (AMC) of the bus procurement by the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) in Delhi Assembly in March this year. Lt Governor Anil Baijal had formed a three-member committee in June which had found procedural flaws in the AMC. The committee had recommended scrapping the AMC. The LG had referred the matter to the MHA in July for its consideration.

Delhi BJP MLA Vijender Gupta alleged a scam of thousands of crores of rupees in bus procurement. “The CBI enquiry has begun in the DTC bus procurement scam. The Delhi transport minister should be immediately removed and arrested,” said Gupta.

According to PTI, the DTC had last year floated two separate tenders for procurement of 1,000 low floor buses and their AMC. The procurement contract was for Rs 850 crore, while the AMC for 12 years was worth Rs 3,412 crore. The bus procurement contract was awarded to JBM Auto and Tata Motors on a 70:30 ratio. The former was L 1 bidder in the AMC tender, officials said. The Delhi government had put the bus procurement process on hold in June, deciding to wait for the outcome of the three-member committee formed by the L-G to look into the matter.

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