The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) standing committee that approved a proposal to purchase stationery items for students of civic school has come under the scanner.
The panel on Friday approved the proposal to purchase stationery like textbooks, notebooks, pencils, etc, to be supplied to students when schools reopen next month.
The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has alleged the decision was in contempt of the Bombay high court order, which allowed the BMC to purchase items to the extent of 25% of the total quantity to be supplied to around four lakh students.
The order had come in connection with a PIL filed by MNS two years ago. The petition is still pending before the HC.
"Ideally, the corporation should have had gone for re-tendering to purchase the stationery. But, the education department did not do that. On top of that, they have approved 100% purchasing of some items," said MNS' group leader Sandeep Deshpande, who had filed the PIL. "So, we will complain about both the BMC and the committee members, who have approved the proposal," said Deshpande.
Meanwhile, the municipal administration claimed the proposal was legitimate. "The quantity we are purchasing is within the norms. Nothing beyond it," said Sanjay Deshmukh, additional municipal commissioner.
The ruling party members too backed the administration and said the BMC did not opt for re-tendering as that would have taken time, causing a delay in supply of the items.
The standing committee had in May 2012, sanctioned a proposal to purchase stationery items to be provided to students of civic schools for free, spending around Rs182 crore. The MNS had claimed the rates of the items had been grossly exaggerated.
Deshpande, who raised the issue, had alleged that BMC had awarded the contract to four to five companies in a cartel to win the bid.