In a letter to Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, Mansa-based RTI activist Manik Goyal has alleged a fraud involving crores in tender allocation for streets by the Mansa Municipal Council.
Goyal wrote on Friday that the civic body had sought online submission for tenders to construct 22 roads till 11 am on November 30. “The tenders were invited on November 8 in the newspapers, but most places have proper roads with interlocking tiles and concrete pavement. Around 18 street, including Mohan Singh Hawaldar road, Mehanga Singh road, Raj Khokar road, are all in good condition. Fresh construction cost amounts to over Rs 4 crore. This is an attempt to manipulate government funds for roads that are already installed. At the same time, sewage is overflowing in many localities of Mansa and that needs urgent attention of the civic body but funds are being spent in works that have already been carried out,” Goyal said.
Goyal said that despite the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) being in power in Mansa, the city faces infrastructure challenges. “Broken and unpaved streets, coupled with sewage water issues, persist in various areas, leading to accidents and health concerns. There is a need to address these concerns first rather than issuing tenders for new projects,” he said, adding that some roads should just be repaired and there is no need for new constructions.
However, soon after the controversy, the tenders for 22 streets were cancelled, Goyal said.
Goyal also raised concerns over availability of funds in the civic body. He added that inviting tenders and then cancelling it is also wastage of funds. He lodged a complaint with the CM and the Local Government Department and have also providing documents for the same. He also requested an investigation by either the Police Vigilance Department or the Vigilance Department of the Local Government.
Vipin Kumar, executive officer of Mansa municipal council, said, “E-tenders were floated on the website of municipal council and online submissions were invited till November 30. All these estimates have been checked and rechecked by the concerned staff. Local councillors had raised the demand of reconstruction of these streets, accordingly the tenders were floated. But now that someone has raised objections over it, we have kept the tenders on hold on Friday itself and are yet to cancel it. We will be inquiring into the allegations of the activist and take action accordingly.”
When asked about the poor civic conditions in some areas, he said that sewerage overflow comes under the sewerage department and they will have to resolve the issue.