Consultancy is looting, says MGP, supports CBI probe

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 27 July 2015 19:51 IST

It was actually a debate to demand CBI inquiry into the Louis Berger bribery case. But it also brought out the ‘consultancy racket’ going on at the government level.

An half an hour debate on the Louis Berger bribery case was demanded by BJP MLAs Siddharth Kuncalienker, Pramod Sawant and Ganesh Gaonkar.

The Congress had already walked out of the House, skipping the debate, making an issue of industries minister Mahadev Naik utilising government loan of housing for buying shops.

But even in the one-sided debate, the ruling coalition partner – the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party – played a little extreme tune, terming all the consultancies as rackets.

The ruling BJP coalition has continued with the Congress system of appointing consultants for every project, paying crores of rupees to the private parties much before the actual project starts.

MGP’s Ponda MLA Lavoo Mamledar spoke vociferously against the ‘consultancy business’, hinting indirectly that ‘all is not well’ in the ruling coalition.

He did not pinpoint at any particular consultancy hired by the present government, but preferred to spend more time on explaining how consultancy is nothing but looting.

To justify his allegation, besides the Louis Berger consultancy for JICA project, Mamledar cited examples of Gawandalem bridge, Rajiv Kala Mandir of Ponda and the North Goa district hospital.

“The government spent crores of rupees on these projects. But what was the outcome? The Gawandalem bridge has developed cracks. The Rajiv Kala Mandir had to be closed down. And the consultants approved the same plan prepared by PWD engineers of the district hospital, but by hiking the cost three times than what the PWD had originally estimated”, said Mamledar.

His party leader Sudin Dhawalikar is the PWD minister today.

Vishnu Wagh, another BJP MLA, also touched the consultancy issue but demanded a CBI inquiry into all the consultancy projects of Louis Berger in Goa – the JICA project, Dona Paula-Vasco Sea Link project and the Mopa airport project.

The consultancy project for Mopa airport was finally granted by the BJP government while JICA and Sea Link were the projects approved during the Congress regime.

The BJP has already countered the allegation regarding Mopa airport, claiming that it was proposed to be given to Louis Berger during the Congress regime and the BJP government only implemented the decision.

Perhaps this is the reason BJP’s  die hard legislator Pramod Sawant also demanded that inquiry be conducted into all the projects of Louis Berger in Goa.

Chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar supported the demand for CBI inquiry, stating that a central agency is a must since the bribery case involves several countries, including the USA.

The whole debate appeared to be an exercise to push hard for the CBI inquiry into the case, before touching any Congress politician.

“What is the use of arresting one official like M A Wachasundar? I want the real culprits to be arrested, involved in this bribery case”, said Caitu Silva, who benefits a big deal in his Benaulim constituency if former Congress PWD minister Churchill Alemao is arrested.

Surprisingly, however, none of the legislator demanded that Government of India should ask the USA to reveal the names of those involved in the bribery case.

The Department of Justice of the USA has already assured to disclose the names of those who took bribes, provided Indian government asks for it.  

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