MARGAO: Alleging big scam to award tender, Goa Pradesh Congress Committee(GPCC) president Girish Chodankar demanded to cancel fish festival and initiate a thorough probe into tendering process of the event immediately. He also alleged that Fisheries Minister Filipe Neri Rodrigues is fully involved in the scam.
Addressing reporters at Margao on Wednesday along with GPCC secretary Damodar Shirodkar, South Goa District Committee secretary Parab Raikar and Dixon Vaz, Girish said that in advertisement of tender the venue of the festival was mentioned at Chinchinim, but now the festival is being held at Panaji. The above fish festival is supposed to start from February 13.
"The Bharatiya Janata Party government has no money to pay self help groups, vocational teachers, social welfare scheme beneficiaries and contractors of various works. But the government is spending lavishly on the so-called promotional events which ultimately turn out to be a big failures", he alleged.
Girish further informed that the memorandum in this regards to canceling the event has been submitted to Chief Secretary Parimal Rai. "The biased decision of the Directorate of Fisheries to award tender of the Aqua Goa Mega Fish Festival to Sushant Khedekar despite another agency quoting much lower than his bid amount is an open and shut case of corruption with the blessing of Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant. Fisheries Minister Filipe Neri Rodrigues is completely immersed in the pool of corruption", he stated.
He said that it will be proved that Filipe is involved in the scam if he did not cancel the event immediately. "The tender floated by the department on December 27, 2019, had specified a venue at Clube Recreative e Cultureal de Chinchinim Complex at Chinchinim with the dates of organising the event between January 31 to February 1, 2020. It is to be noted that the financial bids for the said tender were opened on January 22, giving hardly a week's time for the selected agency to prepare and execute all the deliverables as per tender specifications. This is a clear indication that the selected agency was prefixed by the Department of Fisheries", he further alleged.
According to him the process of awarding the tender is that the government always prefers the lowest bidder. "In this case, the lowest bidder was Media Promotions and the company have quoted Rs 1.47 crores. But the tender was awarded to Sushant Khedekar who has quoted Rs 1.94 crores", he informed.
Girish also claimed that there was no one from the expert field and knowledge of creativity which was required for such an event in the selection committee of tender.
"The tender selection committee headed by Director of Fisheries Dr Sharmila Monteiro comprised of four other members from the departments, who have no knowledge of creative designs and art", he stated.
He further added saying, the tender specifications under clause 9 of the tender documents under the title 'Scope of Works of Event Management Agency' is required to provide major components of the tender specifications. "Surprisingly no technical details are mentioned in the tender document. The estimates prepared for floating the tender have no basis and have been prepared without any proper working", he further added.
Girish lashes out at government stating, the government is yet to come clean on the supply of Formalin laced fish in the market. The government has failed to set up a laboratory to test the fish.