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Maharashtra Sadan: Did Bhujbal flout PWD norms?


Smitha Nair,CNN-IBN
Jul 19, 2012 at 09:49pm IST

Mumbai: The new Maharashtra Sadan in the heart of the national capital is now at the centre of a controversy. President Pratibha Patil had refused to inaugurate the new building after controversy surfaced.

CNN-IBN has accessed documents showing how NCP leader and Maharashtra PWD Minister Chhagan Bhujbal awarded irregular sub-contracts to his relatives. The anti-corruption bureau is now probing the alleged kickbacks.

The documents show Bhujbal gave Maharashtra Sadan contract to M/s Chamankar, who subsequently gave sub-contracts worth several crores to Origin Infrastructure Pvt Ltd and Ideen Furniture Pvt Ltd.

Origin Infrastructure and Ideen Furniture is owned by Chhagan Bhujbal's kin and associates.

President's office told CNN-IBN, "President Patil will be unable to inaugurate the New Maharashtra Sadan, due of pending prior commitments. As outgoing President, there are a number of per-scheduled functions President Patil has to attend."

In his defence, Chhagan Bhujabal told CNN-IBN that there was zero loss to the exchequer beacuse the contract awarded to M/S Chamankar was on a build operate transfer basis, which meant the cost of building was borne by the contractor.

On allegations that sub contracts to companies owned by his kin were kickbacks, Bhujbal said a contract of this nature would involve more than 50 plus sub contractors and as minister he was not expeced to be in the know if companies owned by his kin were given contracts.

A complaint has been filed with the states anti-corruption bureau, a copy of which has been sent to President Patil with an appeal not to associate with the opening of what the opposition calls an edifice of corruption.

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