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VISHWAJIT’S ‘DIRTY’ ROUTE TO WASHING GMC’S DIRTY LINEN?

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Intro: Health dept grants a Rs 70 lakhs a year single tender contract to Ecoclean to wash GMC’s laundry. Documents reveal that order was passed, by health department “although being a single tender”

Short Summary

  1. Rs 7 crores in 10 years or Rs 70 lakhs annually. This is how much you will pay for GMCs laundry to be cleaned by a single company
  2. Compare this to the total amount spent on housekeeping and cleaning, which is a mere 9.6 lakhs a year

TEAM THE GOA SPOTLIGHT

PANJIM: Take a deep breath to get some clean facts about GMC’s dirty linen. They will now be washed at a cost of Rs 70 lakhs a year or Rs 7 crores for ten years. All of this money (your money) will be paid to , apparently a favorite company of Health Minister Vishwajit Rane

The powers in the GMCH, obviously under the instructions of the Health minister, have favoured M/s Ecoclean System and Solutions by giving it the work of In-House laundry services at a whopping annual cost of Rs 70 lakhs. This is in all likelihood, higher than the cost of buying bed sheets and bed linen for the Goa Medical college and hospital

Trupti B Manerkar, Under Secretary (Health) while issuing the Administrative Order has admitted the fallacy of the tender. Interestingly, the order signed by Manerkar has mentioned that M/S Ecoclean System and Solutions are given a tender “although being a Single Tender.”

The words “although being a single tender” can clearly be interpreted to mean that this order was passed inspite of there being just one company which pitched for a tender, which clearly should have been an open tender for laundry services. The abnormality of the order is admitted in the draft of the order itself

Earlier the same laundry was run by the GMC with the existing staff with the machinery purchased 15 years back.

The State government while arriving at a figure of Rs 70,00,000 a year annually did not do any market survey. Legislative Assembly Question 20 tabled by MLA Nilesh Cabral asked ‘Whether any market survey was done before preparing the estimate for laundry tender to ascertain market price. The reply tables stated ‘No. However institutional assessment was done based on the expenditure carried out in the previous years’.

Goa needs to know what the jargon ‘institutional assessment’ is. There is no possibility of any “assessment” which points to a Rs 70 lakhs a year or a Rs 6 lakhs a month cost for washing

And we ask what stopped the government from upgrading the existing machinery and employing more staff to man the laundry.

 

EcoClean is Junior Rane’s favourite

The company seems to be favourite of Junior Rane. EcoClean Systems and Solutions have also been given the contract of housekeeping and cleaning services at GMCH. The same company which was paid Rs 2.71 crore for the year 2016 had its bill raised to Rs 3.94 crore for the year 2017 leaving scope for suspicion.

For housekeeping and cleaning, the company charged Rs 21 lakh in the month of December 2016 but its bill went up to Rs 73 lakh for December 2017. The company which was charging around 21 lakh to 23 lakh monthly in the year 2016 suddenly upped its bill to Rs 78 lakh for the month of November 2017.

ALSO NOTE: (Another firm M/S Veejay Facilities Management Pvt Ltd which has been given contract to look after the housekeeping and cleaning services in the facilities (excluding GMCH) also saw major rise in its bill for the year 2017.

The company which was paid Rs 38.99 lakh for the year 2016 had its bill shooting up to Rs 88.37 lakh for the year 2017. This exponential growth in the Bill is unjustified and needs to be investigated. The same firm had charged Rs28.85 lakh for the year 2015.

The decision to award the single tender for laundry services to EcoClean Systems and Solutions is an apparent violation of the  guidelines of Competition Commission of India which has discouraged single bids in order to curb the corruption in the system.

But while in case of the Goa Medical College, Administrative approval and expenditure sanction of the government was given for awarding the work of installation and operation of In-House laundry services for Goa Medical College to M/S Ecoclean systems and solutions at the rate of Rs 11.40 per piece.

Moreover, the contract signed with the company is for ten years, which has eradicated any possibility of retendering the work till the year 2028.

What’s interesting is that the company is entirely Goa based and does not have the experience of working on major contracts. Health Minsiter Vishwajit Rane in his written reply has claimed that the company’s previous experience was undertaking the laundry service with effect from 2011 at Sou. Sushila Danchand Ghodawat Charitable Trust’s Group of Institutions.

This is the only experience the Panjim headquartered company has got under its belt, but still managed to win such a huge contract worth Rs 7 crores for ten years at a stretch

 

Also as a part of the contract, he will have the prerogative of taking over the functional laundry. The functional laundry equipments existing in the laundry section are handed over to the firm. The machines will be repaired; renovated and new machines will be replaced by the contractor at his own cost.

The issue had figured during the recently held monsoon session of the House during which Curchorem MLA Nilesh Cabral had tabled the question about the tender.

This is not the last you will hear of the story. But there will rarely be a more visually correct example of money going down the drain. And the Health Minister who only wished to wash GMC’s dirty linen, may find his proverbial dirty linen hung out to dry in public if this scam is inquired into.

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Leads & Specials

Everyone in the Goa BJP will go home except Rajya Sabha member Vinay Tendulkar- Parsekar

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Not a single BJP karyakarta will support Sopte in Mandrem; the BJP is losing support of the bhandaris and Marathas too, says former CM Lakshmikant Parsekar

Team Spotlight

Mandrem: In a tone tinged with emotion and hurt former Goa Chief Minister, and a senior member of the BJP’s core committee said that if the party continues in this manner, then “everyone (all MLAs) will have to go home”. He sarcastically said that the only one who will be present in a legislative space would be BJP state president Vinay Tendulkar, who has been elected to the Rajya Sabha for 6 years.

Commenting on the larger issues plaguing the party, the former Chief Minister remarked that important sections of the population like the OBCs including the bhandaris and marathas are moving away from the BJP. The support base is shrinking. There is no doubt. If things go on in this manner, then everyone will go home, except Vinay Tendulkar” ( elected to the Rajya Sabha)

It is clear that it’s a no holds barred battle between a section of the veteran leadership in the BJP and party president Vinay Tendulkar. Speaking toThe Goa Spotlight,  Mr Parsekar said “Earlier Vinay used to say that he would consult ‘bhai’ before taking any decision. Now ‘bhai’ is not accessible and hence Vinay thinks he can take any decision that he wants”

Meanwhile the by-elections to the Mandrem constituency is due, after Congress MLA Dayanand Sopte resigned to join the BJP and will be the BJP candidate in Mandrem and Parsekar is clear that the local BJP unit will not be supporting him “Sopte said 80% of the BJP’s karyakartas are with him. He is lying. Zero percent are with him. There is not a single BJP worker who is with Sopte”. Elaborating further, he said that the party may have taken a decision to reduce the strength of the Congress and hence get Sopte to resign but they should have consulted local workers and leaders ( like him) before deciding to field him from Mandrem. “Sopte may have been lured to join the BJP but the party should have understood the ground reality of fielding him from Mandrem”, Parsekar quipped

Parsekar’s remarks assume political significance for three reasons a) It confirms that Sopte will not be able to hit the political ground in Mandrem, running and will face opposition not just from the Congress but the local BJP organization. b) Lakshmikant Parsekar is holding his own political cards to his chest and the possibility of him contesting as an independent after resigning from the party, with the support of local BJP workers, cannot be ruled out and c) Parsekar’s vociferous reaction may spark off a chain reaction among senior BJP leaders who will take on the Parrikar and Tendulkar led party leadership, with Francis D Souza already stating that he may be raided for speaking against the party.

Clearly in an attempt to shore up the party’s numbers in the Assembly, both Vinay Tendulkar and Parrikar,  either by design or bad politics, may have caused far reaching damage to the party, the results of which will be clear, in the next round of elections.

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‘Toilet’ is not a ‘prem katha’ in Goa

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Goa is one of India’s worst states in achieving the Open Defecation Free promise

TEAM SPOTLIGHT

GOA: As the deadline of December 19, 2018 is fast approaching, Goa has to achieve a milestone to rank on the national chart of being free from Open Defecation (ODF). The coastal State, having the lowest population of only 15 lakhs, tops the embarrassing chart of having the lowest ODF coverage in India. With total coverage of only 5.87 percent, the State is the only one in the country where the success rate is less than 10 percent.

 

What is humiliating is that States like Bihar, Odisha and Tripura are above Goa, where not a single village has been declared as total verified ODF. After being on top of the national chart on various fronts like tourism, Smart City Mission, literacy, etc, the State is far from achieving   ODF.

As per 2011 census, the State has nearly 20 percent households without toilet facility. There are also many community toilet facilities that are lacking in the State, which is known as international tourism destination on world map.

As a rough estimate, the government is of the view that it requires at least 65,000 bio-digester toilets, for which Goa Waste Management Corporation (GWMC) has already invited tender.

Kind of toilets to be provided

The toilets, costing Rs 40,000-Rs 45,000 per set, are fitted with bio-digester. Bio-digester toilet technology, perfected by the DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation), is an eco-friendly and maintenance-free system to manage human waste, which is being put to use under the Swachh Bharat Mission movement.

Scheme drafted by State Government 

Department of Urban Development has drafted a scheme for supply and installation of Bio-Digester Toilet in the State.  “If Goa is to achieve the goal of ODF by the year 2018, then it is essential that the construction of toilets is taken up on a mission mode by providing necessary financial assistance to the poor who are without an Individual Household Latrine (IHHL),” Secretary Urban Development R Menaka said.

Under the scheme, any household not having an individual sanitary toilet will be eligible on submission of documents like Aadhar card and an undertaking that he or she will pay the beneficiary share for the supply and installation of the Bio-Digester toilet in his household.

“No occupant of the household shall resort to open defecation and shall use toilet only for the purpose it is designed for.  The occupant will have to pay the entire cost of supply and installation of Bio-digester toilet to government in case of the toilet being not utilized or any occupants of the household resorting to open defecation,” Menaka said.

Urban development has made it mandatory for Certificate from Municipal Council/ /Corporation/Panchayat stating that the household does not have individual household latrine.

The department of urban development and panchayat will finalize the list of eligible applicants under the scheme and communicate the same to the Implementing Agency- GWMC.

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Parrikar returns home, on a stretcher & in an ambulance

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  1. Parrikar travelled in an ambulance to his home at Dona Paula.
  2. GMC has set up medical facility at his personal residence
  3. Party men and coalition partners were clueless over  his early arrival.

Team Spotlight

GOA: The usual bonhomie that surrounds arrival of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar when arrives back in the State was missing on Sunday, when the BJP leader was moved from AIIMS to Goa on a stretcher and travelled through ambulances.

Parrikar was flown to Goa in a special flight on Sunday afternoon. Two Ambulances equipped with the doctors was part of his carcade that went to receive him at INS Hansa base. The former union defence minister travelled on a stretcher to his home.

India’s news agency Press Trust of India in its report from New Delhi had said that Parrikar’s health had deteriorated at AIIMS last night after which he was shifted to Intensive Care Unit.

He was discharged from the hospital and then flown to Goa.

State Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said that Goa Medical College and Hospital has set up facility at Parrikar’s residence at Dona Paula, where his medical needs would be looked after.

The arrival of Parrikar was sudden and unexpected. Rane was seen supervising the arrangements by calling special meeting of the GMC officials last night.

 

But what is shocking for his party members and coalition partners is unexpected arrival from AIIMS where he had met BJP Core Committee and coalition partners on Friday.

“Parrikar has been always commanding, whatever he decides for himself, he has been deciding. He never listens to his family or his close ones,” BJP Legislator and State Power Minister Cabral told reporters at the airport where he had come to receive Parrikar.

Unlike last two times when he had arrived from the USA wherein he had walked out of the Airport, this time, the ambulance was taken near the special flight to pick him up.

“We hope that he recovers fast and miracle happens. I think it must be his personal decision that he wants to come back to Goa. When I met him last time, he spoke well. It must be his decision to come to Goa,” Cabral said.

 Union AYUSH minister Shripad Naik who had met Parrikar along with Cabral at AIIMS on Friday said that he could not believe the news reports that Parrikar was coming back.

“I had met him day before yesterday. I got the news that he is coming back but I can’t believe that he is returning. His health is improving and he was expected stay at AIIMS for few more days,” Naik said talking to reporters in Panaji on Sunday morning at the sidelines of a function.

“It is okay if he takes treatment in Goa but he needs to take rest,” Naik said.

State Civil Supplies Minister and Independent MLA Govind Gawade said that Parrikar should have stayed back at AIIMS for some time and fully recovered before coming back to Goa.

“But we welcome him back. Goa was missing its leader,” he said.

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