Leader of the Opposition in Tamil Nadu and DMK President MK Stalin has called for a CBI probe into project tenders issued for implementing the 'Smart City' mission. Slamming SP Velumani, the Minister for Municipal Administration, Stalin alleged nepotism in awarding tenders.
Responding to the allegations on Saturday, SP Velumani stated that Stalin should realise he is the DMK President, and not the Chief Minister.
He also countered by saying that the tenders were floated online and included a seven-year maintenance period which would save the exchequer Rs 300 crore.
According to a report in the Deccan Chronicle, Stalin said, “The website of Acetech machinery Components India Company has shown that there was no work relating to smart city project so far. The fact remains that how the tender worth Rs 149 crores was given to such an inexperienced company...Commissioner of Greater Chennai Corporation D. Karthikeyan was appointed as chairman and managing director (CMD) hastily. It is a norm that every tender should be given to those companies, which ask for minimum amount. However, in this case, the norm was violated.”
As per a report in The Hindu, Stalin further said that the top bureaucrat at the Tamil Nadu Urban Finance and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (TUFIDCO), Chandrakant Kamble, had been transferred from his posting as Chairman as he had refused to award the tender contract to the company manufacturing metal sheets.
Stalin called for action against Minister SP Velumani and other bureaucrats reportedly party to the scam by setting up a CBI ‘special inquiry committee.’
According to a report in the Times of India, Stalin also asked why the Centre was quiet on the matter, given that they jointly fund the project along with the state government
According to its mission statement, the Smart City project is an urban renewal and retrofitting program by the Government of India with the mission to develop 100 cities across the country, making them citizen friendly and sustainable.