Birgunj city board members in soup over ‘embezzlement’

Himalayan News Service

Birgunj, June 4:

Birgunj sub-metropolitan city board is in the soup after its members were blamed of embezzlement while purchasing garbage collecting carts worth Rs 1.4 million without calling for tender applications. A source at the sub-metropolis city said that the 150 such carts were bought at a price four times higher than the market price The Local Self Governance Act requires that the local authority call tender bid in any purchase exceeding Rs 200,000 in national dailies. The source also informed that the sub-metropolis has already paid off Rs 900,000 for the carts. It is learnt that RPP central committee member Rajiv Parajuli has exerted pressure on the board to pass the decision to buy the plastic carts from Nepal Trading House, owned by RPP district treasurer Shyam Tibadewala.

Asserting that Tibadewala and Parajuli were business partners, the source claimed Lal Babu Raut had proposed the deal. A local hardware dealer Dolmani Poudel said the wheelbarrow with brand name Hiltake is available in the market at the price of about Rs 1,500 but the board has paid from Rs 6,000 to 12,000 for each cart. The sub-metropolis is said to have bought iron rickshaws paying Rs 8,500 each this year. It is claimed that the rickshaws, said to be produced in Delhi were actually local products. Mayor Pradeep Subedi and executive officer Dhruba Kumar Karki could not be contacted for comments. Subedi currently is in the capital while Karki has not attended the office since the deal of purchase was finalised.