The Telegraph, 02 Nov 2006
Kohima, Nov. 1: Alleged violation of rules while awarding contracts for construction of permanent headquarters for 9 India Reserve Battalion (IRB) at Saijang, has brought home minister Thenucho and his department under the scanner. The Union home ministry has sanctioned Rs 92.64 crore for the project.
The anomaly was detected by Raj Bhavan. Governor Shyamal Datta later informed chief minister Neiphiu Rio about alleged violation of contract rules.
This was discussed at the State Level Project Implementation Committee (SLPIC) meeting recently, where the home department clarified that five contractors were shortlisted and work was allotted to the lowest bidder at 85 per cent above the Public Works Department (PWD) schedule of rate (SOR), 2004. The conditions were that work would be done on a turnkey basis and completed within 36 months from the date of issue of order. Another condition was that there would be no upward revision of estimates within the next six years.
It was accordingly approved by the departmental committee under the chairmanship of home minister Thenucho, when it should have been the chief engineer or head of the department concerned.
According to the SLPIC, work allotted at 85 per cent above SOR 2004 was on the higher side. After a marathon meeting, it had directed the department concerned to re-negotiate the rate with the contractor and review the terms and conditions of the contract as per norms before submitting it to the SLPIC at the earliest.
Reliable sources said the matter was most likely to be placed before the Union home ministry. They do not rule out a CBI probe. The home minister could not be contacted for his reaction.