Lieutenant Governor Forms Panel To Probe Buses Procurement Process In Delhi

The panel included a retired IAS officer, the principal secretary of vigilance and the transport commissioner of the Delhi government, according to an order by the Vigilance Directorate on Wednesday.

Lieutenant Governor Forms Panel To Probe Buses Procurement Process In Delhi

The committee will submit its report to the LG within two weeks. (File)

New Delhi:

Lt Governor Anil Baijal has formed a three-member committee to look into the now-stalled process of procuring 1,000 buses by DTC amid demand for a CBI probe by the BJP.

The panel included a retired IAS officer, the principal secretary of vigilance and the transport commissioner of the Delhi government, according to an order by the Vigilance Directorate on Wednesday.

It further stated that the terms of reference of the committee will be to examine the whole tendering process and analyse whether due process was followed under general financial rules (GFR) and existing rules of procurement.

It will also examine irregularities, if any, in the tendering process, any procedural lapses and also if the procurement process can be structured in a better and more efficient model, stated the order.

The committee will submit its report to the LG within two weeks.

The transport department had in an order issued on June 11 kept in abeyance the process for procurement of 1,000 low-floor buses as well as their annual maintenance by the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC).

Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot on Wednesday had said the procurement process has been kept in abeyance due to an enquiry set up by the L-G.

"The BJP has complained to the LG. An enquiry has been set up by the LG on their complaint. We have kept in abeyance the procurement process till the enquiry committee submits its report," he had said.

Meanwhile, the Delhi BJP leaders, in a press conference on Thursday, alleged that a "scam" has been committed in the bus procurement process and demanded a CBI enquiry into it.

BJP MLA Vijender Gupta, who had raised the issue, said Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot's claim that the work order for the DTC buses was kept in abeyance after a committee was constituted by Delhi LG to look into the matter was a "lie".

He further claimed that an internal enquiry by the transport department has found "financial irregularities" in the bus procurement process and demanded that the report be made public.

In January 2021, the Delhi government had placed a work order of 1,000 low-floor buses costing Rs 890 crore. Along with the order for purchase, it also took out the tender for the annual maintenance of the buses.

The order for bus maintenance has been fixed at Rs 350 crore annually. Not only that, the contract for maintenance would also come into effect on the very first day of the purchase of the buses, even when there is a three-year warranty, Gupta said.

Considering the seriousness of the matter, the BJP demands that L-G directs a CBI inquiry into the matter, he added.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)