Bengaluru, Feb 8 (IANS) In a setback to the Congress government in the state, the president of the Karnataka State Contractors’ Association, D. Kempanna, has alleged that the practice of taking 40 per cent commission (bribe) in tenders persists in the Karnataka government.
The ruling Congress had highlighted the issue of a 40 per cent cut in public tenders as a major concern against the previous BJP government during the elections.
Addressing a press conference in Bengaluru on Thursday, Kempanna demanded the cancellation of the package tender issued by various government departments. He also insisted that a separate tender should be invited for each specific project.
The package tender is being invited in Kolar and other districts, and corruption by officers has already begun. Kempanna claimed that officers are collecting money and passing it on to their political masters. While politicians used to directly take commission earlier, now officers are handling this on behalf of the politicians. According to Kempanna, the 40 per cent cut continues under the Congress government.
He urged the government to halt unnecessary tender packages floated by different departments. Kempanna stated that they have met Chief Minister Siddaramaiah multiple times, and more than 10 letters have been written to him on this issue. Engineers, he claimed, are pointing fingers at their senior officers, and when questioned, these officers are reportedly admitting to the involvement of ministers and MLAs.
The package tender system is allegedly designed to favour contractors from neighbouring states, leading to widespread corruption. Contracts are allegedly awarded to associates, while genuine contractors face injustice. Kempanna warned of a protest call if the situation is not addressed within a week.
He raised concerns about the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike calling for package tenders worth Rs 300 crore within a week. Kempanna accused officers of directly demanding bribes from contractors for project allotment.
Payments for completed works have allegedly not been released even after two years. Kempanna asserted that a complaint against the continuation of the 40 per cent commission under the Congress government would be lodged at an appropriate time.
He also claimed that there are 15 chief engineers in the BBMP who ask for money in every tender. While he didn’t disclose their names, he mentioned that a complaint running into thousands of pages has been submitted to the retired High Court Justice Nagamohan Das Committee, including the names of the allegedly corrupt officers.