In the wake of increased scrutiny on government spending in renting beds and other facilities for the COVID Care Centre at the Bengaluru International Exhibition Centre (BIEC), authorities have announced that all essentials will be bought instead.
The government said that all essential items such as cots, fans, buckets, mugs and dustbins will be bought, instead of being rented, as previously decided by officials. It may be recalled that Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Monday had taken officials to task after visiting the CCC on the issue.
“As soon as the matter of taking all items on rental basis came to my knowledge, I instructed the concerned officials to rectify the mistake failing which strict action will be taken. As per my instruction, the authorities have taken immediate steps to buy the necessary items and this has prevented the wasteful expenditure on unnecessary renting of items. I have instructed BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike) Commissioner to release an amount of Rs.7.32 crore immediately to the suppliers,” the CM said in a statement.
A note by the CM’s office said that the BBMP officials had decided to take essential items required for the 10,000 bedded COVID Care Center at BIEC on rental basis at a rate of Rs 800 per day, per bed. This would have cost an amount of Rs 24 crore each month.
Since the rental rates were high, it is possible to buy these items within the rented amount and later use them for government-run hostels. So accordingly, BBMP officials were instructed to take necessary action, the note said.
“BBMP officials negotiated with suppliers and accordingly agreed to purchase six of the required items for each bed such as cot, mattress, fan, bucket, mug and dustbin at a rate of Rs 7,500 per set. So Rs.4.87 crores will be spent on purchase of these items for 6,500 beds,” the note added.
The government is also expected to purchase vinyl flooring at a rate of Rs 31 per square ft, and accordingly Rs 2.45 crores will be spent on vinyl flooring for an area of 7.9 lakh square ft.
The press note said that it had been decided to take 19 non-reusable items on a rental basis at the rate of Rs.6,500 per set, per month. So accordingly, Rs.4.23 crores will be spent per month. With this move, the government expects to save several crore from the state’s exchequer.