Panaji, Aug 12 : The Congress in Goa on Monday alleged that there was a scam in contracts given for beach safety and beach cleaning and demanded that the scam be investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Addressing a press conference at party state headquarters in the city, Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) President Girish Chodankar said,''In a reply to a question in the state assembly, Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar has stated that the contract given to M/S Drishti Life Saving Pvt Ltd for beach cleaning work under Goa Financial Rules (GFR) 184 expired on July 15, 2019. The Tourism Minister has further state that the contract was renewed nine times and government has paid an amount of Rs 2.62 crore per 106 days totaling a whopping Rs 26.20 crore for the entire period of the contract.''
He said the reply exposed the fact that Tourism Department had awarded the work to a company which did not have experience of beach cleaning work and went ahead extending the same 'illegally' for consecutive nine times depriving the local Goans who had effectively carried out similar work in the past.
The Congress State President demanded that the new tender to be awarded to M/S Karnataka Commercial and Industrial Pvt Ltd for beach cleaning should be scrapped.
Mr Chodankar alleged that government's 'incompetence and complete collapse of administration' in Tourism Department had come to the fore once again as beach safety lifeguard services were not available on the beaches in the state for the last one and half month.
''The reply to a question exposes the fact that the contract of Lifeguard Services and Beach Safety expired on June 30, 2019. The Tourism Minister has stated that the issue of extension of this contract is under examination. This reveals that beach safety lifeguard services are not available for one and a half month,'' he said.
The Congress leader claimed that beach safety and lifeguard services contract was another scam in which the government had paid Rs 28.30 crore per annum to M/S Drishti Lifesaving Pvt Ltd totaling Rs 141.50 crore for the last five years.
The contractor had violated almost all clauses of the contract, he claimed and demanded an investigation by CBI.
He pointed out that earlier too Lokayuka had said that beach cleaning scam was a fit case for CBI probe but the government did not pay attention to it.
''We demand that a complete inquiry be conducted by CBI in beach cleaning and beach safety contracts as investigating authorities in the state were not competent,'' he said.
He also said that beach cleaning contract should be given to local Goans who had done similar work in the past for tourism department. (UNI)