Goa tourism may scale down tender price for beach cleaning

Amid mounting pressure of the opposition and the complaints filed in Lokayukta, Goa tourism department today said it is mulling to scale down the price of the controversial beach cleanliness contract.

PTI| Last Updated: Jul 22, 2016, 14:42 PM IST

Panaji: Amid mounting pressure of the opposition and the complaints filed in Lokayukta, Goa tourism department today said it is mulling to scale down the price of the controversial beach cleanliness contract.
Goa Lokayukta is already hearing a complaint filed by Independent MLA Rohan Khaunte and social activist Aires Rodrigues over alleged irregularities to the tune of Rs 14 crore in tendering of beach cleanliness.

Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), which conducted an inquiry into the matter, recently gave a clean chit to state Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar. "We are waiting for the order from Lokayukta. The department has already decided to scale down the contract price when it would be renewed again," he said.

The minister said the scope of work for the contractor has decreased drastically due to the commissioning of garbage treatment facility at Saligao.

"Now they have to just lift the garbage from the beaches and send it for processing at the treatment plant. On their part, they don't have to treat it," Parulekar said.

The existing price of Rs 14 crore per year would be scaled down to Rs 8 to 10 crore annually during renewal, he said, adding the new guidelines would be issued after the Lokayukta pronounces its order.

"Till then we have to maintain status quo," he said.

The tourism department has awarded the contract of cleaning the beaches to two companies, which, according to Khaunte, are owned by the same person.

The Porvorim MLA said that his demand for action against the minister concerned (Parulekar), officials and the companies would continue.

"Our demand is that bank accounts of both the companies be frozen and the money paid to them recovered by Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar," Khaunte said.

"If the Chief Minister fails to act, I will be forced to write to the Prime Minister seeking his intervention in the case to issue necessary directions to the state government.

"In this beach cleaning case, the government has completely misused the police machinery (ACB) to institutionalise corruption by giving clean chit to Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar. We have produced all the facts and figures to prove that it is a scam," the MLA alleged.