The BJP-led government in Tripura has initiated vigilance enquiry into another alleged scam of Left Front government in procurement of bus under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), the most ambitious project of UPA government for improving urban mobility.
According to Transport Minister Pranajit Singharoy, the initial investigation indicated massive irregularities from the beginning to the operation of bus services in the city.
Besides, serious administrative loops in the process of bus procurement and operational phases, it was alleged that all damaged bus was accepted by Tripura Urban Transport Company Ltd (TUTCL) without minimum penalty.
“We have forwarded all the necessary details to the Vigilance for initiating an inquiry into the matter,” Singharoy said adding that the central government had funded the project for providing affordable, decent and sustainable transport system for the city dwellers to increase mobility, reduce congestion and cut down level of pollution but the whole mission was frustrated in Tripura due to corruption.
The initial investigation revealed there was misappropriation of fund to the tune of Rs 27 crore.
Under JNNURM the state government had started the process of purchasing 173 buses in 2009 but ultimately only 90 buses were found on the streets at present and 30 buses had been recovered in dilapidated condition from a garage.
There was no trace of as many as 53 buses and allegedly the process of purchase was vitiated and influenced.
Holding the previous government responsible for the irregularities, the minister alleged that in some cases TUTCL had returned the bank guarantee to the operators without verifying the condition of the vehicles, which led to huge loss to public ex-chequer.