The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Friday cancelled a contract for procurement of body bags, which are used to wrap dead bodies, after social activist Anjali Damania alleged scam in it. Damania said that the bags were being purchased at a higher price and the contract was awarded to a firm that had no experience in making body bags.
On Thursday, Damania tweeted a document saying BMC has given a contract to purchase body bags to Vedant Innotech Private Limited for Rs 6,719 per bag. She alleged malpractices in the contract saying actual cost of a body bag is Rs 250 to Rs 1,200 while BMC is paying nine to ten times more.
Recently, the civic body’s central purchase department had awarded a contract to purchase body bags to Aurangabad-based Vedant Innotech Private Limited at Rs 6,719 per bag. So far 2,200 body bags have been purchased at about Rs 1.15 crore from Vedant from the first tender that was floated in April.
MC officials said these bags have been finalized as per technical specifications set by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. These bags should be impermeable, leak-proof, disposable, opaque, white. Other companies which had participated, the quality of bags was not as per specifications and there was a risk of leakage, they said, adding the said company fulfilled all technical specifications and a nine-member committee too had recommended this bag. Officials said rates at which bags are purchased are also mentioned at the ministry’s website and BMC is just following guidelines set by the Centre.
“Last month, we had floated a tender in which ten bidders had participated and Vedant Innotech qualified. Now following the controversy we have decided to float fresh tenders on Saturday,” said P Velarasu, Additional Municipal Commissioner (Projects).