A Division bench of the Bombay High Court at Goa comprising of Justice
F.M.Reis and Justice Nutan Sardessai today adjourned to September 21st the
further hearing on the petition filed by the beach cleaning contractor Bhumika
Cleantech Services Pvt Ltd challenging the order passed last month by the
Goa Lokayukta P.K.Misra who is probing the alleged multi crore beach
cleaning scam had on 12th August by an interim order directed the Director
of Tourism that after proper scrutiny of the pending bills, half of the
amount payable to the contractor be kept in a fixed deposit so that
appropriate directions can be issued after the completion of the detailed
investigation. The Lokayukta while also directing that notice be issued to
Goa’s Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar seeking his comments on the
complaints about the alleged multi-crore beach cleaning scam adjourned the
matter to 3rd October. Incidentally the government after the Lokayukta’s
order has already served a one month's notice terminating the beach
Adv. Shivam Desai and Adv. Ashwin Bhobe appearing on behalf of the beach
cleaning contractor today sought that the High Court stay the Lokayukta’s
order but the same was vehemently opposed by Adv. Amey Kakodkar and me.
Ironically Advocate General Saresh Lotlikar as was expected did not defend
the Lokayukta’s order.
It was submitted to the Court that the petition filed by the errant beach
cleaning contractor who had siphoned crores of tax-payer’s money was in
clear collusion and rank connivance with the Government.
Pleading that the Goa Lokayukta be allowed to complete the probe unhindered
it was pointed out to the Court that the beach cleaning tender was a multi
crore scam and that the contractors instead of cleaning the beaches had
only emptied the State coffers.
The Court’s attention was drawn that the then Director of Tourism Mr. Ameya
Abhyankar on 11th December last year in a four page note while pointing out
that major conditions of the tender were not fulfilled with detailed
reasons had proposed that the department go in for a fresh tender but that
the government the very next day transferred Ameya Abhyankar.
It may be recalled that in September 2014 while Manohar Parrikar was the
Chief Minister and Nikhil Desai the Director of Tourism, the Goa Government
awarded the contract of Comprehensive Management of cleanliness of North
Goa Beaches to Bhumika Cleantech Services Pvt Ltd at an annual cost of Rs
7, 51, 40,999 and the cleaning of South Goa beaches to Ram Cleansers &
Developers Pvt Ltd at a cost of Rs 7, 04, 87,999. Both the companies are
owned by Manish Mohata. Earlier the cleaning of Goa beaches was costing
the State Government an average of a mere two crores annually.
In the complaint to the Vigilance department on 18th May last year, it was
sought that a F.I.R be registered against Tourism Minister Dilip
Parulekar, the beach cleaning contractor Manish Mohata and Avdhoot
Parrikar the brother
of Manohar Parrikar amongst others in connection with the alleged
multi-crore scam in the beach cleaning tender.
While demanding a meticulous probe into the role of Avdhoot Parrikar in the
beach cleaning scam it was submitted that though the name of Avdhoot
Parrikar did not figure anywhere in the official papers, he had been the
man behind the scene attending meetings between the beach cleaning
contractors and government officials, complete details of which were also
given to the Vigilance department.
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