Amid controversy and allegations of corruption, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to audit purchase of equipment, setting up of jumbo Covid care facilities and hiring of manpower to fight the pandemic. BMC’s Vigilance department has issued guidelines to all user departments to maintain all documents related to purchases and services hired to fight coronavirus for an online audit.
According to the order, documents related to execution of Covid-19 works of civil, electrical, mechanical, supply of foods, medicines, masks, body bags and PPE kits should be kept ready for the audit, which will be held online. The BMC has so far spent Rs 850 crore on Covid-19-related purchases and creating health infrastructure in the last five months.
For setting up jumbo Covid care centres, documents like certified copies of inventories, scope of work, sanction papers, dated photographs (before and after), penalty statement if any should be kept for the audit. For purchase of masks, gloves, PPE kits, medicines and body bags, the user department needs to maintain documents like a copy of the complete proposal, tabulation bidders, monthly consumption and consumption record of materials.
Likewise, for the purchase of toothbrushes, mugs, buckets, folded beds, pillows, banners, garbage bags, labourers, housekeeping staff for quarantine centres, the Vigilance department has instructed to keep copy of sanction papers, challans, goods receipts, dated photographs, used department certificate regarding quality and quantity of work.
“The step has been taken to maintain transparency in purchase and expenditure,” said a senior BMC official.
As per BMC records, it has set up about 500 Covid care centres across the city. Also, jumbo Covid care centres like BKC, NESCO in Goregaon, NSCI Dome in Worli, Richardson and Cruddas in Byculla, Race Course in Mahalaxmi, Mulund have been set up by the BMC.
However, the jumbo facility in NESCO has been mired in controversy after BJP MLA Ameet Satam alleged corruption in awarding contracts to a builder.
Satam also filed a complaint with the Lokayukta demanding a probe in the matter. Earlier, in another controversy, BJP leader Vivekanand Gupta and activist Anjali Damania had alleged malpractices in purchase of body bags. They have alleged that the BMC is purchasing these body bags (for carrying bodies of Covid patients) by paying nine times more to a contractor who does not have experience in that field.
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