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Bicycle scam leaves Gogoi red faced

A huge scam in education department is set to embarrass the Congress government hardly six months before the assembly polls. The scam involving nearly Rs 90 crore took place in the procurement of bicycle for girl students in 2014. 

The matter had already reached the Gauhati High Court where a division bench of the court comprising Chief Justice (Acting) K Sreedhar Rao and Justice PK Saikia on Tuesday issues notices to Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary, Director of Secondary Education, M/s SK Bikes Pvt. Ltd, M/s Seth Industrial Corporation, M/s Hero Ecotech Pvt. Ltd and Vishal Cycle Pvt. Ltd. 

Considering the alleged anomalies in the misuse of public money during procurement of ladies bicycle by the Directorate of Secondary Education a suo moto PIL was taken up by the Gauhati High Court took serious notes of the stunning revelations in the PIL.  

The note of the Registrar (Judicial) of the Court reflects that letters were addressed to the Prime Minister of India; Ministry of Home Affairs; Director, CBI; C V C; and CM Assam; alleging fraud and corruption taking place in the Directorate of Secondary Education, Kahilipara, Assam, in the procurement of ladies bicycle worth Rs. 80-90 Crores in the year 2014 and again floating a tender fixing the last date of submission as 19.06.2015 with same eligibility criteria, even after knowing the facts that the eligibility criteria is attracting only 1 (One) company, i.e. M/s SK Bikes Pvt. Ltd., Ludhiana and other companies are not participating.

Renowned manufacturers like Hero, Atlas, BSA, Hercules and Avon have not participated in the tender. An illegal syndicate/nexus is also alleged amongst M/s SK Bikes Pvt. Ltd., (Ludhiana), M/S Hero Ecotech (Not Hero) and M/s Vishal Cycle Pvt. Ltd., the Education Minister, the Education Minister’s son and a few department officials and they have hiked the price by 38% compared to other States.

The complaint has enclosed some documents where the same supplier, i.e. M/s SK Bikes Pvt. Ltd., Ludhiana, and M/s Seth Industrial Corporation, Ludhiana have quoted the rates of the same ladies bicycle to the Gujarat Rural Industrial Marketing Limited (GRIMCO), Govt. of Gujarat Undertaking, Gandhinagar, Gujarat as Rs. 2489.68/- per bicycle and within 2 (two) months the same was quoted as Rs. 3425/- per bicycle to Assam and Rs. 2780/- per bicycle to the Director of Secondary Education, Rajasthan.

Big cycle manufacturing companies did not participated in the year 2014. Again in May, 2015, the tender was floated fixing the last date as 19.06.2015 with same eligibility criteria knowing that only 1 company is participating. On 16.06.2015, the Minister and others met and decided the issues before hand, raising questions how the Department pre-assessed the precise situation on 16.06.2015 which was going to take place on 19.06.2015.

The complainant also stated that the freight difference on each bicycle from Ludhiana to Rajasthan/Gujarat and Ludhiana to Assam is Rs.50/-. Considering and calculating the purchase of 2,00,000 Nos. of ladies bicycle by Assam, the freight and price difference shows a huge impact of corruption and in comparison with the supply made to Gujarat, the difference comes to Rs.595/- per bicycle and Rs. 11,90,00,000/- (in total).       


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