Home » Irregularities in floating tender by Manipur’s Social Welfare Department surfaced after committee dishonor Supreme Court directives

Irregularities in floating tender by Manipur’s Social Welfare Department surfaced after committee dishonor Supreme Court directives

by Rinku Khumukcham
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Irregularities in floating tender by Manipur’s Social Welfare Department surfaced after committee dishonor Supreme Court directives

IT Exclusive
Imphal, Nov 17:

Gross violation in floating tender norms by the state Social Welfare Department for appointment of contractors for transportation of rice from Food Corporation of India (FCI) depot Imphal, Ukhrul, Jiribam and Senapati to various offices of Child Development Project officer as well as for transportation of WBNP (rice) from various FCI godown and micronutrients from Department godown has now been surfaced after the tender committee fails to comply the directive of the Supreme Court. The Apex court directed the Social Welfare Department to submit the report for the appointment of the contractor for the same.
According to a highly placed reliable source, tender processes for appointment of contractor by issuing Notice Inviting Tender (NIT) on June 22, 2017 for the aforesaid mentioned tasks conducted by the Department’s High Power Committee have been quashed by the High Court of Manipur multiple time since 2020, 2021 on being challenged by the non-appointed qualified firms/contractor following discrepancies and irregularities committed by the Tender Evaluation committee in appointing a particular firm/contract after avoiding all necessary tender norms following judgment of the Supreme Court on August 29, 2022 disposing MA No. 495 of 2022 directing the State Social Welfare Department to initiate the fresh tender with fresh terms and conditions which shall be in the larger public interest within the a period of 45 days from the date of announcement of the said judgment.
In compliance of the Supreme Court’s directive Department issued NIT on September 2, 2022 under NIT No. 8/28/2022-SNP(SW) for the appointment of contractor of the aforesaid task of the department and among the tenderes submitted their documents for the tender, Social Welfare department, Manipur enlisted 6 firms technically qualified out of 14 firms besides four qualified tenderers Ms Jain Hanuman, M/s Soraisam Enterprises, M/s Transking Carrier Pvt. Ltd and M/s Radika Express Service have found not deposited the total amount of tender fees to the department and two other qualified firms New UP Bihar Orissa Road Line and NE LOGISTIC were found deposited the entire tender fees for all routes. But unfortunately these two firms are not appointed without any valid reason (s). Besides the High Power Tender Committee of the department following the Supreme Court directive and in order to rectified their irregularities in the tender process issued five corrigendum short period during the month of September 2022 last corrigendum was issued on September 30, 2022 which categorically informed the appointed firm must submit the tender fees of Rs.5000 each of the route without fail.
As per the guidelines and tender norms of the Department appointed tenderers must deposit Rs. 5000 per route and above four entities have merely deposited a sum of Rs 5000 while applying for 16 routes as against applicable sum of Rs. 80,000.
Interestingly the Tender Evaluation Committee on August 8, 2022 had issued warning for blacklisting to a qualified Guwahati based firm NE LOGISTIC for submitting low rate quotation for transportation of rice at Rs.3.90 per MT per Km for all routes, by mentioning that “District Programme Officers/Child Development Project Officers of the Social Welfare Department in its meeting held on December 16, 2017 had already decided that the L1 quoted rates which varied from Rs.4.10 per Mt per Km to Rs.5.11per MT per Km were unrealistically low rate for transportation”. Tender Evaluation Committee has alleged that NE LOGISTIC firm for trying to sabotage NIT process.
On the other hand Tender Evaluation Committee of the State Social Welfare Department while violating the self decision, approved and appointed M/s Transking Carrier Pvt. Ltd who levied L1 quoted rate of Rs.4.39 per MT per Km to less than Rs.5.11 rate for 10 out of 16 route which is violation of proceedings of December 16, 2017 of the High Powered Tender Committee and found deposited tender fee for only one route and fees for the rest 15 routes found not deposited and the said department is acted arbitrarily. Over and above the department is fails to submit the action taken reports in connection with the appointment of contractors for the aforesaid tasks as directed by the Supreme Court which is also one of the gross violation of the Supreme Courts directive the source added.
The reliable source further added that the tender process for appointment of contractor conducted by the High Power tender Committee of the State Social Welfare department has not been conducted in free and fair manner and in order to favor a certain entity with possible instances bribery and department has given a go-by to CVC guidelines on award of tender by the department, besides ignoring the proceedings of December 16, 2017 of the High Powered Tender Committee which has caused humongous loss to state exchequer, it added.
In a depth enquiry into the matter and document found in hand by this reporter it has been found that one of highly qualified NE LOGISTIC firm from to time since the State Social Welfare department invited tender for the same task November 15, 2021 and on April 1, 2022 under NIT No. 8/28/2020-SNP(SW) have deposited tender fees for allotted routes by the department but the High Power tender Committee of the state Social welfare department had intentionally and arbitrary set aside the said firm and appointed a firm which was found to be submitted unrealistic L1 quota rate and also not fully deposited tender fees, it has clearly show a sign irregularities while flouting tender for the said task under possible bribery. In view of such discrepancies committed by the committee some of non-appointed qualified firms have already drawn attention of the state competent authorities concerned and even Chief Minister of the state for immediate intervention of the entire tender process which were found to be full of irregularities and discrepancies. So far not a single action taken from competent authorities has seen in this regard and the entire tender process was violating the Supreme Court directive as Supreme Court has already directed the Department that, terms and conditions of the tender shall be in the larger public interest and department, the source added.

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