Recently, the responsibility of renovating Goa’s Kala Academy situated in Panaji was given to a private agency called Techton Builders, and this happened via nomination process, for 50 crore rupees, and not through the tendering process, as is stipulated in the CPWD guidelines to be followed.
With the matter blowing up and people wanting to know the truth behind the ‘no-tendering’ process which has been undertaken by the government, today, the media asked the Goa PWD Minister, Nilesh Cabral about the same, and he stated that the instruction to allot the work of the Kala Academy to Techton Builders on a nomination basis came from the Art and Culture Department.
He then added, “I did not get all the information as all the top officers of PWD were attending a training session outside the state. I will go through the file when the officials return and take appropriate action if the Chief Minister asks me to do so”.
On the other hand, the Goa Art & Culture Minister, Govind Gaude, steering clear of the matter, earlier said that the Kala Academy’s work tender was ‘not his concern’ and was totally the responsibility of the PWD.
Prior to this, Gaude had made a bizarre statement regarding the matter, wherein he had compared the Kala Academy project to Taj Mahal, built by Shah Jahan, which supposedly did not require a tendering process.
Two days ago, BJP leader Savio Rodrigues had written a letter to the Chief Minister of Goa, Dr Pramod Sawant, requesting him to initiate a probe into the matter in order to fight the menace of corruption. After the blame-game of Cabral and Gaude, Rodrigues has asked whether it was Shah Jahan’s ghost which came and allotted the renovation work to the private agency.
In the wake of the controversy, the Directorate of Vigilance has directed the Goa government to set up a ‘technical committee’ to evaluate the entire process of the PWD and Art & Culture Department, including the works of the private agency, in order to look into the scale of deviation from the CPWD guidelines.