Lokayukta orders ACB inquiry into tenders floated by MMC




The office of the Goa Lokayukta has ordered the anti corruption branch (ACB) of the vigilance department to undertake administrative inquiry into the tenders floated by the Margao municipal council (MMC) for various works, which the citizens of Margao had alleged as having fake estimates.

Taking cognisance of a report that was published in ‘The Navhind Times’ on April 28 that highlighted the citizens of Margao seeking inquiry into the tenders floated, the Goa Lokayukta had initiated proceedings in the matter.

As per the order of the Lokayukta, dated September 14, the ACB has been instructed to initiate inquiry within 60 days through a responsible officer, who is not below the rank of DSP.

Margao citizens including former chairperson of MMC Savio Coutinho had alleged that 64 developmental works, including some pre-monsoon works worth Rs 2.6 crore for which tenders were floated by the MMC, were fake with fictitious estimates. They had also verified and found that some of the works were duplicated.

It was reported by this daily that the Lokayukta initiated proceedings based on the report published. The suo motu petition was filed against chairperson of MMC Pooja Naik, chief officer of MMC Ajit Panchwadkar and the government of Goa.  

“This proceeding was initiated suo motu on the basis of report in ‘The Navhind Times’ dated April 28 under the heading ‘Margao citizens seek inquiry into tendering process of MMC,’” states the order.

It further states, “Having regard to facts and circumstances, the following recommendations are made – the ACB is required to make appropriate administrative inquiry by a responsible officer not below the rank of DSP. It should be done as expeditiously as possible, preferably within 60 days from the date of receipt of the report.”

The order also states that until and unless clearance is given by the ACB, no further work shall be undertaken except the ongoing work which has been purported to tendering process.

“Since the Chief Secretary is the head of ACB, he is required to maintain strict vigil, as it is not uncommon in Goa about many such works been taken up without following proper procedure and at times the duplication of works already completed. The DMA is required to complete his inquiry and submit such report before ACB within 60 days,” the order states.