High drama prevailed at the Mangalore City Corporation Council meeting here on Saturday with slogan-shouting Opposition members trooping to the well of the House over the electronic tender process.
Congress councillor Ashok demanded to know why the e-tenders for solid waste management contracts were cancelled by councillor Shanta, who is the chairperson of the MCC Standing Committee on Health and Education. His question prompted his party colleagues to make the charge that Ms. Shanta and the BJP had indulged in malpractices in the tender process, which runs into several crores of rupees.
Ms. Shanta said that she had cancelled the tenders after some malpractices by MCC officials came to light. Not satisfied with her reply, the Opposition members demanded that the officials' names be announced and trooped to the well of the House.
They alleged that Ms. Shanta had cancelled the process because some contractors favoured by her did not meet the deadline for submission of tenders.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, some MCC officials said that the BJP and the Congress were demanding that the system be scrapped because it was transparent and prevented backroom manoeuvring.
Councillor Naveen D'Souza asked why the Kankanady-Falnir road was being widened to two lanes when the initial proposal was to have four lanes at an estimated cost of Rs. 7.7 crore. The Mayor said that it could not be done as the locals were resisting land acquisition.
Mr. D'Souza demanded that a meeting be held involving the locals on the issue to which the Mayor agreed. However, she said that if the issue with the locals was not resolved within the next 30 days, then only two lanes would be laid.
Several members raised the issue of the poor condition of parts of national highways 17 and 48 in the city limits.
However, the issue soon turned into a heated exchange between the Congress and the BJP. Even as the Opposition members continued to disrupt the proceedings, several resolutions were passed without any discussion. One of the significant decisions taken was that the NHAI would not be allowed to collect toll from commuters within the MCC limits.