Irregularities in contract award slammed

Chitwan, November 13

The decision of Chitwan Chamber of Commerce and Industry to bypass a tender process and allow a so-and-so company to run a fun park during the upcoming Chitwan Festival has drawn flak from locals.

The biennial event will run for 10 days from January 9, 2017.

However, selecting companies to run entertainment-related activities during the festival by skirting the due process of tender is not a new phenomenon.

On his part, Chitwan CCI chair Rajan Gautam defended the decision citing previous practice. “In view of previous experience in this field, it occurred to us that selecting a company with experience would be better, hence the decision to choose it,” he said, adding, “As for the direct signing of contract we are ready to rectify our mistake and act according to due procedure.”

Chitwan CCI had signed the contract with Rajdhani Amusement Rights Nepal Kathmandu on June 23.

Arjun Chaudhary, on behalf of the company, had signed the contract with the provision that the CCI would get Rs 2.2 million from the company in return for its right to run the Fun Park during the festival.

Meanwhile, Mahesh Baral, executive officer of Bharatpur sub-metropolis, co-organiser of the festival, criticised Chitwan CCI’s modus operandi. “Chitwan CCI can’t just sign a contract with a company at its whim. Tender process is mandatory,” he said.

Besides Bharatpur sub-metropolis, Ratnanagar municipality and District Development Committee of Chitwan are the co-organisers of the event. “Any private body has the right to select a company on its own, but once there is a government body in partnership, we can’t do away with due process as laid down by the Public Procurement Act,” said CDO Binod Prakash Singh of Chitwan.

It is important to note that other companies who are involved in the amusement industry have said they are ready to pay up to 5 million rupees to get the right to set up Fun Park during the festival, which around 5 lakh people are expected to visit.