Official laxity behind tender fixing in Kendrapara: Oppn

Bhubaneswar: Opposition BJP and Congress on Monday alleged that the uncontrolled and growing menace of tender mafias in Kendrapara district is due to the administrative laxity in the district.

The allegation followed a day after a young contractor identified as Bapina Swain (32) of Ameipala village under Marsaghai police limits in the district was shot dead by three unidentified motorcycle borne miscreants at Shyamasundar Chowk under Kendrapara Sadar police limits.

Congress has demanded a Crime Branch probe into the matter.

“If the government really wants to stop tender fixing and all tenders to be awarded transparently, then it must identify those who are responsible for this and take exemplary action against them. A Crime Branch probe must be ordered into all tender fixing episodes, which has claimed many young lives in the district,” Congress leader Ganeswar Behera said.

Echoing Behera, the saffron party too has demanded action against the officials behind tender fixing. It has raised questions over the spreading of estimate papers of tenders.

“It is surprising that estimate copies of the projects, which are completely official, reach the fixers and contractors. From this, it is clear how officials of district administration and departments of drainage and irrigation are hand in gloves with the tender mafia,” BJP’s district president Sukanta Dwivedi said.

Allegations have also been made that process of inviting tenders are not being followed in a proper manner.

“The laid down procedure of inviting tenders is not being followed. And the officials of the concerned departments and fixers are responsible for this. Stern action should be taken against these people,” Kendrapara Sevasamiti’s Manoj Nayak stated adding the police has become a silent spectator in such matters.

The police, however, maintained that some arrests have been made in connection with tender fixing cases.

“At least 23 anti-socials found to be involved in tender-fixing have been arrested so far. Further investigation in this matter is on. We are interrogating the people whose names are emerging in this matter and we will arrest them after verifying evidence. Whosoever is involved in the crime we will take action against those,” Kendrapara SP Nitinjeet Singh said.

Last year, Abdul Sattar, a contractor of Tendakuda village under Patkura police limits, was shot dead on December 7. Another contractor, Sanjaya Swain (32) of Belatala village under Pattamundai police station, was also shot dead by two unknown criminals at Pattamundai.

Official sources said following the arrest of 20-odd persons in connection with tender fixing in the district, the authorities have cancelled the tender papers for 50 works of saline embankment division worth Rs 30 crore as these tenders were fixed by the criminals after taking around 20 per cent as bribe from the contractors, police sources said.