Delhi Congress to approach CVC, CBI if Centre does not order probe in DTC bus deal

Anil Kumar Chaudhary

New Delhi, July 13 : The Delhi Congress on Monday said it will approach the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) or the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) if the central government does not order a probe against the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government in the national capital into the purchase of 1,000 DTC buses.

Addressing a press conference here, Delhi Congress chief Chaudhary Anil Kumar said, “If the Modi government does not order a probe within 24 hours into the big corruption involved in the purchase of 1,000 buses by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government for the Delhi Transport Corporation, then we will approach the CBI and the CVC with relevant papers to hold a thorough probe, and bring the guilty to book.”

“It was shocking that for the purchase of 1,000 low-floor buses, the AAP government had indulged in Rs 4,288 crore corruption,” he said, adding that for the purchase of 1,000 low-floor buses, the total cost was Rs 875 crore, and four times the cost of the buses, i.e. – Rs 3,413 crore, would be given for the maintenance contract, which will surprisingly commence even before the three-year warranty period lapses.

The Delhi Congress leader said that the three-member probe committee, constituted by Lt Governor Anil Baijal had recommended that a Rs 3,413 crore, 12-year Annual Maintenance Contract (AMC) for the proposed 1,000 low-floor buses awarded by the Delhi Transport Corporation be scrapped.

Kumar said the committee only probed five points related to the maintenance contract, instead of going into the entire tender process in a detailed manner. “If Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was honest, he would have ordered a thorough probe into the purchase of the buses as well as the maintenance contract, as one of the issues on which he used to hold protests was shortage of DTC buses,” he said.

He also said that when Congress left power in Delhi, there were 6,000 DTC buses in operation, and under the regime of the Kejriwal government, the number has come down to just 2,600, with only 18,000 buses plying on a daily basis, though he had promised to strengthen the DTC fleet to 11,000 buses.

Describing the public transport in mess in the national capital, Kumar accused Kejriwal of encouraging people to go for private vehicles. He said, “As more private vehicles on the road mean more sales of petrol and diesel, from which the Delhi government would earn crores in the form of VAT (Value Added Tax), as in the past seven years, the AAP government has collected Rs 25,000 crore in taxes from sale of petroleum products.”

Slamming the AAP government, he said that the committee also noted that “in a situation with only two bidders participating for the tender of supply of buses, who also carried the onus of maintenance through a separate bid enquiry, the possibility of monopoly pricing is high, and a fair price discovery could be called into question”.

He also accused the BJP leaders of shedding crocodile tears over the issue. Kumar said that under pressure from the BJP, Kejriwal was touring other states like Gujarat, Punjab, Goa, UP and Uttrakhand to expand his political turf, which was a betrayal of the people of Delhi who elected him to power.

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