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artly cloud sky. Rain or thundershower may occur at some places.
Calcutta Weather
WeatherTemperature
Min : 25.00°C (+0)
Max : 35.10°C (+3)
Rainfall : 0.00 mm
Relative Humidity:
Max : 92.00% Min : 51.00%
Sunrise : 5:28 AM
Sunset : 5:29 PM
Today
artly cloud sky. Rain or thundershower may occur at some places.
 
CIMA Gallary

Hakim washes hands of Sovan trident lights

State urban development minister Firhad Hakim on Wednesday distanced his department from the Calcutta Municipal Corporation’s acquisition of trident lights as part of a beautification project for the city.

The minister made the statement in the Assembly in response to a query from the leader of the Opposition, Surjya Kanta Mishra, who referred to allegations that the civic body had violated rules by buying the lamps without floating a tender.

“All municipalities under the urban development department acquired the lamps by floating proper tenders in newspapers. I do not know what happened at the CMC as it is an autonomous body and has its own electrical department,” Hakim said.

“The CMC has started an internal inquiry to find out the loopholes (in the acquisition of the lamps)... What happened can only be said after the probe report is submitted.”

Mishra raised the issue during the question-answer session and sought a clarification on the money spent on trident lamps and whether any tender had been floated for buying and installing them in Calcutta.

“The lights are not working in a number of places. More than 500 files were prepared for each order of Rs 5 lakh. The mayor, also a member of the House, should be aware of it,” said Mishra.

Mayor Sovan Chatterjee, MLA of Behala (West), was not present in the Assembly during the day.

Hakim passed the onus to party colleague Chatterjee in the face of Mishra’s attack, instead of trying to defend him.

He, however, added that his department had not received any specific complaint against the CMC and promised to start a probe if he received one.

Answering Mishra’s queries on the total cost of the lights, Hakim said Rs 39.39 crore had been spent by 54 civic bodies, including the CMC, till August 31.

In the CMC area alone, Rs 24.68 crore had been spent on buying the lights and posts and installing them.

Bidhannagar Municipality has spent Rs 96 lakh and the Nabadiganta Industrial Township Authority, which looks after civic matters in Sector V, Rs 12 lakh on beautification, the minister told the House.

The Assembly was rocked by the controversy related to trident lamps after the director-general in the CMC’s electrical department, Gautam Pattanayak, was removed from his post on September 20.

Pattanayak had earlier been served with a show-cause notice, asking him to explain his role in the entire process —right from inviting tender to placing order for purchase of the lights.