Now Uttarakhand babus buy grocery from transporter for flood hit

Dehra Dun : Babudom in Uttarakhand is a fiefdom in itself. The forest department bought flour for its tame elephants from an equipment supplier and that too at rates far higher above the market price. Now the state government bought kits containing edibles, whose market price is pegged at Rs 480 from a transporter at Rs 620 per kg. But no questions have so far been asked.

Leader of the opposition in the Uttarakhand vidhan sabha, Ajay Bhatt told media persons that the kit containing ration was meant to be supplied to the flood hit people of Chamoli, Uttarkashi and Rudraprayag districts. The market price of the supplies in the kit was pegged at Rs 480, but records show that the government paid Rs 620 to the transporter.

Realising the urgency of the supplies to be made to the stranded people in these districts, and the opportune moment to encash the misery of the flood hit, the babudom made a quick kill. A kit was supposed to contain five kgs of pulses, two litres of refined oil, 100 gm of cumin seed, 100 gm of turmeric, 100 gms coriander seed, salt one kg and six boxes of match sticks.

Bhatt claimed that quotations had been called for the supply of these items and though the total cost of the items in the market had been put at Rs 480 kg, quotations varying from Rs 625 to Rs 671 (all on the higher side) had been received. But rather than going for a retender, as should have been done considering the high prices quoted, the babus gave the order to a transporter for Rs 620, he alleged.

He said that orders for supply of 25,000 kits was given to the transporter which was Rs 140 per kit more than the market price of the goods that were packed in the kits, making a clean kill of over Rs 35 lakhs. And this was done in the name of the people who were fighting all odds to stay alive in the aftermath of the tragedy that hit Kedarnath valley.

This was not all, Bhatt alleged that so keen were the babus that the transporter make the supply to the government that an advance payment of Rs 25 lakhs was also made by the district magistrate, Chamoli, where the kits were to be sent. “The state government owes an explanation to the people of the state”, he added.

He even feared that the kits were supplied only on paper and that they actually did not reach the destination for neither was any supply made nor received, adding that if the supply had been made the commercial tax department would have all the relevant documents and other papers of the supply that was made and demanded a high level enquiry into the incident.

Meanwhile state civil supplies minister Pritam Singh that the matter was not to his knowledge, but even then the government will get the matter looked into for any such incident at the time when the state government was making all out efforts to provide relief to the flood hit people would not be tolerated.

A journalist with over 40 years of experience, Jagdish Bhatt was Editor, Hill Post (Uttarakhand). Jagdish had worked with India's leading English dailies, which include Times of India, Indian Express, Pioneer and several other reputed publications. A highly acclaimed journalist, he was a recipient of many awards Jagdish Bhatt, aged 72, breathed his last on 28th August 2021 at his Dehradun residence.

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1 Comment

  1. says: Dr. Balbir Singh Rawat,

    BUREAUCRACY IS JUST A MACHINE THAT NEEDS TO BE WELL KEPT AND PROPERLY DRIVEN. OUR DRIVERS (MINSTERS AND THE CABINET) HAVE DESERTED THEIR SEATS AND PUSHED THE “AUTO DRIVE BUTTON”. IF THE MACHINE IS MOVING HELTER SKELTER, IT NEEDS TO BE TAMED BY FORCE AND A NEW DRIVER PUT IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT.
    BSRawat

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