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Supreme Court Blaims MCD

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Mar 23: The Supreme Court today held the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) responsible for the sharp increase in the cost of a modernised abattoir coming up at Ghazipur in East Delhi from Rs 65 crore to Rs 185 crore.

A three-judge bench comprising Mr Justice Ashok Bhan, Mr Justice S B Sinha and Mr Justice A K Mathur also expressed their unhappiness with the working of the concerned MCD officials.

The court directed the MCD to finalise the bills of the contractor pending with it within two weeks and also directed the contractor to immediately start the civil and electrical construction and effluent treatment plant for installation of plant latest by June 30.

The court adjourned the hearing till April 20 after having been informed that the machine for installation had already been dispatched from Germany on March 19 and would reach India by April 10.

Annoyed with the attitude of the MCD, Mr Justice A K Mathur remarked, ''you are spoiling the reputation of this country.

It does not speak very high of us as we are to pass order in such a matter.'' The court also dismissed an application for increasing the capacity of the upcoming slaughter house on the ground that it will result in delaying the completion of the project. The applicant was, however, granted liberty to move fresh application, if necessary, after the project was complete.

The court was also told that the MCD had already paid Rs 70 crore to the contractor and a cheque of Rs 19.78 crore was handed over only yesterday. The court directed the contractor to revalidate/renew the bank guarantee within 10 days.

The Supreme Court is monitoring the project which will replace the outdated slaughter house at Eidgah in walled city.

There has already been demand by the opposition in MCD for a CBI inquiry into the escalation of cost alleging collusion between the top MCD officials and the contractor and it has caused huge loss to the state exchequer.

Meanwhile, the MCD Standing Committee has approved a proposal to lease out the Ghazipur slaughter house to a private operator. Minimum lease rent worked out by the MCD is Rs 11 lakh per month. Four companies have shown interest in the project. The Technical Evaluation Committee has recommended the mame M/s Aztec Exim Pvt Ltd. The operator has been found to be technically competent to run the rendering plant.

The plant will have state-of-the-art facility for converting animal carcasses into products for industrial use and animal use.

Meanwhile, the MCD commissioner A K Nigam has admitted that there has been financial bungling in the project and it may now cost Rs 120 crore.

UNI

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