PWD official cites administrative reasons for the decision

The Public Works Department’s attempt on Tuesday to auction impounded river sand met with failure after the base price for a lorryload, which started at Rs. 600, crossed Rs. 12,000.

The PWD had planned to auction about 40,000 lorryloads of sand, which was stored illegally at the Sankarapuram second sales point near Pazhayaseevaram.

Around 11.45 a.m., T.P. Ganesan, Executive Engineer, Lower Palar Basin, Water Resources Department of the PWD, announced suspension of the auction after the process went on for about 75 minutes. He cited administrative reasons for the decision.

A total of 108 persons participated in the first round, which began at 10.30 a.m. The bidding process, which started with the base price of Rs.600 per load (two units), culminated around 10.50 a.m. when the EE declared Raja of Pattipulam — who had quoted Rs.12,200 for two units of sand — as the successful bidder. Mr. Raja said he had registered his name for the auction by remitting a demand draft for Rs.100 on Monday since he had opted for 8 lorryloads only. When the bidders vied with one another by increasing the bid amount in multiples of Rs.50 and on some occasions in multiples of Rs.100 or Rs.500, Mr. Ganesan warned that stern action would be initiated against the successful bidder if he or she failed to remit the offer amount with loading charges. However, this warning did not have any impact on the bidders who raised the bid amount to Rs. 12,000 and above.

Bidder assaulted

Subsequently, around 10.55 a.m. when Mr. Raja moved out of the auction venue, he was assaulted by a bidder, Venkatesan of Chettypunniyam.

Mr. Venkatesan, who was rounded up by the police, pleaded with them that he had slapped Mr. Raja out of frustration as he (Mr. Raja) had increased the bid amount drastically. Around noon, Mr. Venkatesan was allowed to walk away freely after Mr. Raja told the police that he did not want to file any complaint against the former.

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