[ Tongam Rina ]
ITANAGAR, Nov 9: The rural development (RD) department has written to the Changlang administration to procure corrugated galvanized iron (CGI) sheets, even though the notice inviting tender (NIT) was floated for corrugated pre-painted galvalume steel (PPGL) sheet, which is reported to be more durable and expensive, under the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana, Gramin, PMAY (G), formerly known as the Indira Awaas Yojana.
The sheets are for roofing under the PMAY (G), which aims to provide concrete homes with basic amenities to rural households by 2020, with contribution from the state as well as the beneficiaries.
According to the papers uploaded on the district’s website (changlang.nic.in), Changlang DC Dr Devansh Yadav had written to the RD joint secretary on 20 July, forwarding the details of the NIT for PMAY (G) for procurement of PPGL sheets and other building materials for 63 houses to be constructed during 2020-21 against the sanction of 2016-17.
Of the 19 that applied, 15 firms participated in the NIT, of which the four-member board consisting of the DRDA assistant project officer, the UD assistant engineer, the DRDA project officer and the Changlang ADC recommended two firms – M/s Patkai Construction, Changlang, and M/s Sankey Enterprises, Bordumsa – as both the firms quoted Rs 47,88,000, which was below the tender value of Rs 50,40,000. The tender was opened on 14 July by the board, as per the laid down norms.
Of the two firms, Patkai Construction, which is handled by Tehang Pongte, brother of Deputy Speaker Tesam Pongte, was chosen by the RD department.
While the board proceedings clearly stated that the tender was for PPGL sheets and other housing materials, a letter of intent written on 21 August and sent to the Patkai Construction joint director, states “procurement of CGI sheets among other construction materials.”
In its acceptance letter, Patkai Construction has mentioned CGI sheets, whereas it had bid for PPGL sheets.
This reporter spoke to a supplier named Ashok, from Varanasi, whose number is listed by Patkai Construction in its official communication to the RD department. He said that the bid was for PPGL sheets, and that he is a supplier but not directly involved with the firm.
Meanwhile, speaking to this daily, RD Joint Director Chera Sanjiv said that the tender had been floated for PPGL sheets, which he said was in violation of the laid down norms, and that “it may invite audit objection, for which it has been rejected.” He, however, did not clarify why he issued the letter of intent for CGI sheets instead of calling for a re-tender, whereas the letter from the DC and the board clearly stated that the tender was for PPGL sheets and not CGI sheets.
Sanjiv said that he has received a letter from the DC, objecting to the awarding of the letter of intent for procurement of CGI sheets instead of PPGL sheets as tendered.
When contacted, Dr Yadav said that the district administration has sought a clarification from the joint director as the tender bid was for PPGL sheets and the letter of intent was issued for CGI sheets.