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Congress alleges corruption in Goa beach cleaning contract

Press Trust of India  |  Panaji 

The Congress in Goa on Monday said it would move the high court if the BJP-led state government fails to recommend a CBI probe into the "illegal" awarding of a beach cleaning contract to a private firm.

Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) president Girish Chodankar alleged that Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar was involved in the "corruption" in awarding the contract.

The minister has denied any illegality.

"We want a probe by the CBI. If the state government fails to do so, we will file a writ in the high court challenging the illegal actions of the government, which had awarded the contract without following proper procedures," Chodankar said in a press conference.

He alleged awarding the contract to Drishti (M/s Drishti Lifesaving Services) was an "open and shut case of corruption with the direct involvement of Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar".

Drishti Lifesaving Services was contracted by the government for cleaning of beaches. The agency also provides professional lifeguard services on behalf of the Tourism department of the state government.

In his reply in the Legislative Assembly during the recently-concluded session, Ajgaonkar had said the contract was given to the company for beach cleaning work under GFP-184 (the emergency clause) expired on July 15 this year, andat present no agency on board was manning the cleaning of the beaches.

Chodankar claimed the contract allotted to the firm was renewed "nine times" during December, 2018, and July, 2019.

"The company had no experience in beach cleaning work, but despite that the contract was extended nine times, which has deprived local Goans who had efficiently carried out similar work in the past," he alleged.

When contacted, Ajagaonkar said the Congress was free to take whatever step it wanted to.

"There is no illegality in any contract awarded by my department," he added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, August 12 2019. 20:25 IST