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Karnataka to set up panel to review all public works over Rs 50 crore

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Karnataka to set up panel to review all public works over Rs 50 crore
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Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai 

Bengaluru: The Karnataka government will set up a commission headed by a retired judge to clear tenders for every public project worth Rs 50 crore and above, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said on Wednesday.

"I've appointed a high-level commission. A retired high court judge will be heading it. The commission will comprise a financial and a technical expert," he said.

"Tenders above ₹ 50 crores will be scrutinised by a committee headed by a judge. The tender will be initiated only after the process," Mr Bommai said.

The Chief Minister said the committee will start working by next week. It has been constituted so that tenders meet regulations specified under the KTPP Act. The tenders will be given only to those after the committee has vetted the tender pre-conditions. Officials have been told not to issue work orders verbally and that all the guidelines to award a tender must be followed.

The decision came nine days after a Belagavi-based contractor, Santosh Patil, died by suicide in the state's Udupi district. In a WhatsApp message purportedly sent to his friends before killing himself, Patil had alleged that former state minister KS Eshwarappa had demanded a commission to clear a bill for work that he had done for the rural development and Panchayati Raj Department.

Santhosh Patil alleged the former minister and his associates demanded 40 percent commission for the release of payments for a road work he had completed in his village in the Belagavi district.

Mr Eshwarappa stepped down amid a political controversy after the opposition Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party took to the streets demanding his resignation and arrest.

While there has been no clear-cut decision taken by the government to order a probe into Santhosh Patil's allegations, the government has now set up this high-level panel to approve tenders in a fair manner.

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TAGS:Karnataka Eshwarappa Karnataka Contractors Association 
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