Pragati Maidan: Shapoorji Pallonji roped in no sub-contractor, NBCC in FIR

Convention centre at Pragati Maidan Photo: Wikipedia
Public sector firm NBCC on Monday claimed that Shapoorji Pallonji, to which it had awarded a contract for re-development of ITPO Complex at Pragati Maidan, had started "fabrication of structure steel works" on its own and no sub-contractor was appointed.

"As informed by M/s Shapoorji Pallonji (JV), the action for fabrication of structure steel works, like procurement of structural steel from steel producer has been initiated by them of their own and no sub-contractor, including the name as appearing in the news item, has been appointed by them," NBCC said in a late night BSE filing.

The CBI had on Saturday booked NBCC chairman-cum-managing director (CMD) Anoop Kumar Mittal for alleged corruption in the Rs 2,150 crore re-development project of ITPO Complex at Pragati Maidan here, and arrested a government official and another person in connection with the case.

The agency alleged in an FIR that a contract was awarded to a joint venture of Shapoorji Pallonji and Company Pvt. Ltd. and Shapoorji Pallonji Qatar WLL for Rs 2,149.93 crore by NBCC (India) Limited, and Mumbai-based Capacite Structures was trying to get the work from Shapoorji Pallonji on a subcontract.

Surprisingly, according to the CBI FIR, the deal for the sub-contract of Rs 2,149.93 crore was influenced by a government official who had demanded a Royal Enfield bike as an illegal gratification to exert his influence on Mittal and get the deal swung in favour of Capacite Structures.

It is alleged that Sanjay Kulkarni, Managing Director of Capacite Structures, approached a middleman, Rishabh Agrawal, having good contacts with public servants for bagging the sub-contract.

The FIR alleged Agrawal approached Pradeep Kumar Mishra, a public servant who is close to certain senior functionaries of NBCC Ltd.

Mishra assured Agrawal the sub-contract would go to Capacite Structure if he was given a new Royal Enfield Bullet motorcycle which was agreed to by Kulkarni, the FIR alleged.

Under the influence of Mishra, Mittal "strongly directed" the Executive Director of NBCC to settle the matter in favour of Capacite Structures, it alleged.

The agency arrested Mishra while he was allegedly receiving the promised bike as illegal gratification from a staff of Kulkarni.

NBCC said it invites tenders in a fully transparent manner through an open competitive bidding system according to the Central Vigilance Commission's guidelines and in this case the letter of award for the contract was issued to Shapoorji Pallonji by following due procedures.

"NBCC undertakes number of projects and various specialised agencies/product manufacturers regularly approach the company for marketing their product/expertise for use in NBCC's projects, which are referred to the main contractor for evaluation.

"NBCC has no role to play in this and it is contractor's sole prerogative to engage the agencies in line with contract requirement," the state-run firm said.

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