Pimpri: According to a recent directive of the State government, the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) will have to stop purchase of sewing machines, bicycles and other goods that were to be distributed to beneficiaries.
The State government took this decision in December last year to prevent corruption. Instead, all government subsidies should be released through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) Scheme.
One popular scheme was for distribution of sewing machines to women in the lower income group. A large number of beneficiaries were on the waiting list. A vigilance committee was appointed in 2016 following allegations of purchase of 13,500 sewing machines by Urban Community Development Department at inflated prices. At that time the PCMC decided to stop further purchases and focus on distribution of the machines to the beneficiaries.
The allegations were made by the BJP corporators when they were in the opposition. As per the allegations, the market price of one sewing machine was Rs 3,083, which the PCMC purchased for Rs 4,777. In all, the PCMC paid Rs 6.34 crore to the contractor when the lowest tender received was for Rs 5.51 crore.
Similarly, the PCMC purchased 6,633 bicycles in 2012-13 and 2014-15. But 1,464 bicycles were left over in the PCMC godown in Nehrunagar, as there were no takers for the bicycles. From July 15 this year, the PCMC again started distribution of remaining bicycles to beneficiaries. Now only 603 bicycles are left in the PCMC godown.
Social Welfare Officer of PCMC, Sambhaji Aiwale said, “Due to the State government diktat, purchasing of material has been stopped. This practice of distribution of cycles and sewing machines will be stopped henceforth. But we are distributing material left over in our godown.”