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Lokayukta orders halting payments to Goa beach-cleaning firms

Press Trust of India  |  Panaji 

Lokayukta Justice P K Misra today asked the Director of Tourism to stop all further payments to two contractorsentrusted with cleaning beaches in the state.

The directioncame after hearing on separate complaints filed by social activist Aires Rodrigues, Porvorim Rohan Khaunte and local resident Suraj Borkar alleging the beach cleaning was "a multi-crore scam".

The next hearing will be held on July 19.

Passing an interim order, the Lokayukta told the Director of Tourism to stop all further payments to the two contractors engaged in beach cleaning in North and South

He asked the official to submit his response on the charges made in the complaints and produce relevant files.

Justice Misra also asked the Director of Vigilance to submit a report on investigation conducted into the complaint filed by Rodrigues on May 18, 2015.

The Porvorim MLA, in his complaint, has named Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar, Directors and Deputy Directors of Tourism since 2013 (excluding the current Directors and Deputy Directors), beach cleaning contractors Bhumika Cleantech Services and its directors, M/S Ram Cleansers and Developers and its directors as accused in the alleged scam.

The Independent has provided a list of 39 people, including senior officials from tourism and other departments, the Shack Owners Association and Cavelossim and Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA), who, he said, could provide inputs in the investigation.

According to the complaint, the tender floated in 2013 for comprehensive management of cleanliness at beaches in Goa required applicants to have a minimum of 1,000 workers and experience in mechanised cleaning.

The eligibility criteria were devised to keep local beach cleaning contractors, who were operating manually, out of the tender process, it alleged.

Khaunte has alleged irregularities in awarding of the contract and haphazard work by the contractors, who he said, gave fake names of supervisors and labourers.

The list of documents provided in the complaint includes a noting by then Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and adverse reports by information assistants.

Tourism Minister Parulekar has denied any wrongdoing.

First Published: Wed, July 06 2016. 16:57 IST