Paper supplied to DBTB not inferior in quality: Edn Directorate

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New Delhi, Mar 10 (UNI) Rebutting charges by Delhi BJP Chief Harsh Vardhan of indulging in bungling in paper procurement for school text-book printing, the Directorate of Education of the Delhi Government today said the paper in question was not of inferior quality and found to be confirming to BIS standards.

Responding to allegations, the directorate said the paper in question got tested in Central Paper and Pulp Institute, Saharanpur, and found to be confirming to BIS standards.

It added that no changes have been made in purchase terms and conditions for paper over the last three years.

In a press conference last week, Dr Harsh Vardhan had alleged that the tenders for purchase of paper for textbooks were invited in the last week of January, 2008 for bulk purchase from some selected paper mills at the instance of Minister of Education.

He also alleged that there was direct connivance of the Government, Education Minister and senior people in bungling of Rs 16 crores in paper procurement for school text-book printing with the mills supplying low grade paper in place of specified paper and they had shared the money among themselves.

In its statement rebutting the charges, the directorate said, ''the tenders for the purchase of 2600 MT of papers were invited on October 11 through open advertisement with the whole processbeing transparent.'' The bureau invited tenders from the mills having turnover of 30,000 MT per annum as per excise clearance. The tender demended the paper should have been manufactured from Virgin Pulp and confirmed to BIS specification 1848/1991 for offset and meplitho paper and 6956/1973 for cover paper, the directorate said.

It added that the order for the paper used for textbooks was placed on L-1 bidders. Since HPCL was a government organisation, it was given an opportunity in writing to match the rates of L-1.

However, they did not accept it and the work was allotted to L-1 as per CVC norms.

The order was placed on November 15 and supplies started from December 3 and completed upto February 11.

The directorate said the Bureau has purchased paper costing Rs 9.1 crores only and not Rs 16 crores, as alleged in the newspaper report.

Infact, the Bureau has saved a sum of Rs 37 lakh in comparison to the previous year, since the paper has been procured at lower rates comparitively.

''No defects has been found in the paper as the paper supplied to Delhi Bureau of textbooks (DBTB) has been tested and is cleared by CPPRI. DBTB purchases paper in different grammage that is, Maplitho 80 gsm, White offset printing paper 70 gsm and Cover paper 170 gsm. Purchased paper in all the three quality confirmed to this grammage. These facts were also checked by Departmental Committee as well as at CPPRI. Payment to the 'Mills' are made only after test reports of CPPRI and departmental committee are received,'' the directorate said.

In conclusion, the directorate said, ''so the paper supplied to DBTB was not inferior in quality but confirmed to BIS specifications, which were the terms and conditions of the tender.'' UNI AR GL RS2016

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