Upset over show-cause notices issued by the civic authorities to two officials and a retired functionary of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) in connection with alleged financial irregularities in the installation of trident streetlights in the city, a section of officers of the civic body submitted a representation to the Municipal Commissioner on Friday.
The protesting officers expressed fear that the officials were being targeted only to protect the Mayor of the Trinamool Congress-run civic body and the member, Mayor-in-Council of the department concerned.
Despite strong criticism from the Opposition over the past few months the civic body had so far denied the allegations of financial irregularities in the installation of trident street lights.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had herself directed the civic body to set up a particular kind of trident lights as part of her beautification drive of the city.
The officers against whom action has been initiated are Director-General (Lighting) Monobrata Chaudhuri and his predecessor Gautam Pattanaik. Basab Patra, an executive engineer of Zone IV of the civic body, has also been issued a show-cause notice. According to reports, the alleged financial irregularities have cost the civic body Rs.10 crore. It has been revealed that the lighting department of the civic body had placed several orders each below Rs.5 lakh to 200 different firms to procure trident lights, only to avoid the tendering process.
Questions are also being raised why the lights were not procured from the KMC’s own workshop where such lights are priced at a lower cost.
Members of the Opposition parties have described the show-cause notice a “face saving” exercise and have demanded judicial inquiry into the matter.
Meanwhile, supporters of the Communist Party of India held protests outside the civic body during the day against the alleged irregularities in the installation of trident lights in the city.