With the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra to start from Uttarakhand on Wednesday, the High Court of Uttarakhand has ordered a stay on the execution of Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam (KMVN) tender for carriage of the luggage of the pilgrims. This development might result in inconvenience to the pilgrims in the first batch slated to arrive today.
According to the case details, the KMVN had invited online tenders for the carriage of luggage of the people undertaking the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra. The tenders were opened on May 28. The minimum rate of Rs 1.45 per kilogramme, per kilometre was quoted by Kundan Bhandari of Dharchula. The second lowest rate of Rs 1.70 per kg, per km was quoted by Ashok Singh of Dharchula. As Bhandari had quoted the lowest rate he was called by the KMVN for negotiation after which the final rate agreed upon was Rs 1.25 per kg per km. On this basis, Bhandari deposited a Rs five lakh fixed deposit as security deposit and got a bond finalised on a stamp paper. However, on June 1, the KMVN officiating managing director and Nainital district magistrate Vinod Kumar Suman reportedly called the second lowest bidder Ashok Singh for negotiation. Singh agreed to transport the luggage at 86 paise per kg per km after which the tender was awarded to him. Bhandari approached the high court to challenge this decision of the KMVN. The petitioner has stated that the decision taken by the corporation was against the online tender regulations according to which only the person making the best bid is called for negotiation and in case the negotiation fails, the tender is cancelled. Bhandari has alleged that the corporation has not followed the rules. Hearing the petition, the single bench of justice Sudhanshu Dhulia ordered a stay on the execution of the tender. The high court also issued notices to the KMVN management and the second lowest bidder Ashok Singh seeking their replies.
It is pertinent to mention here that the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra from Uttarakhand is slated to begin on June 12. The first batch of pilgrims is expected to arrive at Kathgodam on Wednesday. However, with the high court ordering a stay on the tender, the members of the first batch of pilgrims may encounter inconvenience.
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