Lalitpur DM foils SP leaders’ bid to ‘corner’ projects

Samajwadi Party leaders in Lalitpur are upset after the district administration foiled their attempts to allegedly corner work related to construction of check dams. District Magistrate Ranveer Prasad has cancelled the tender after an inquiry showed that the tendering process was manipulated to favour certain people.

An angry SP district president Mahendra Singh Yadav termed the DM's action arbitrary and accused him of "working with a BSP mindset". "I will lodge a complaint with Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav," Mahendra Singh said.

Seven check dams were proposed to be built in Baar block of Lalitpur, and the work was allotted to local SP leaders for Rs 68 lakh. Block Development Officer Babban Prasad Rai allegedly completed the process of work allotment between October 17 and 19 in violation of norms.

However, before the work began, the DM was tipped off and he instituted an inquiry. "We found that the whole tendering process was manipulated to help some people. The process has been cancelled and the works will be allotted afresh," he said. Prasad said the advertisements of construction work were published in two lesser-known newspapers so that those interested in applying would not get the information. "One was a local newspaper from Jalaun which has no presence in Lalitpur. This is a serious violation of norms," Prasad said.

Also, the tendering process was completed in two days. "Normally, seven days should be given. This was not done, which showed there was something foul," Prasad added.

The DM said the Minor Irrigation Department, which has expertise in construction of such check dams, had categorically stated that it could not do the work for less than Rs 10 lakh per dam. "But strangely, the BDO office, which is not an expert body, was ready to construct them for a lesser amount," he said.

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