Senior officials of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) have put top BJP leaders in the city, including Mayor Kirit Parmar and Standing Committee chairman Hitesh Barot in a fix. The Mayor and the BJP corporators were surprised to find the AMC officials having tabled a proposal to hand over the management of two sports complexes at the Sabarmati Riverfront to a company owned by builder Raman Patel’s nephews for three years.
Patel, owner of Popular Builders, was arrested a couple of years ago in a land grabbing case in which he allegedly forged the power of attorney and tried to kill his daughter-in-law. He was recently granted conditional bail by the Supreme Court but has half-a-dozen cases pending against him. Having realised that they were outsmarted by the AMC officials, Mayor Parmar and other BJP leaders put the ball in the Municipal Commissioner’s court, saying the final decision on the sports complexes’ management will be taken by him.
The Sabarmati Riverfront Development Corporation Ltd floated a tender for maintenance of two sports complexes — at Paldi and Shahpur — on the Sabarmati riverfront. These complexes have not been operational despite crores of rupees spent on their construction.
A technical bid for this tender was opened a few days ago and an offload price of Rs 40 lakh was decided upon with an annual property tax of Rs 37 lakh. The base price was fixed at Rs 77 lakh, with a pre-condition that the contractor will pay 18% GST. The tender was for a period of two years with an extension of one year.
The bidders were identified as Ahmedabad Racquet Academy Pvt Ltd and Ahmedabad Sports Academy LLP JV Park Muller Distributors Ltd. With a bid of Rs 75.6 lakh compared to Ahmedabad Sports Academy’s Rs 54 lakh bid, the bid from Ahmedabad Racquet Academy Pvt Ltd was approved by the Sabarmati Riverfront Development Corporation.
Even as the Mayor and other BJP leaders in the AMC had no idea about this development, the Sabarmati Riverfront Development Corporation put out a proposal in the AMC to approve the tender bid from Ahmedabad Racquet Academy in a meeting held overnight. The proposal will now be put up in the board meeting of the Sabarmati Riverfront Company to be held in the next few days.
The Ahmedabad Racquet Academy Pvt Ltd, the winning bidder, has its office on Sindhu Bhavan Road and is controlled by Raman Patel’s nephews Prathamesh Patel and Vikram Patel. Prathamesh is the company’s chairman and Vikram is the managing director. Vikram has been named as accused (along with builder Krinesh Patel) in a case of fraud and cheating worth Rs 5.11 crore registered at Bodakdev Police Station.
While officials from the Ahmedabad Racquet Academy Pvt Ltd remained unavailable for comment, a senior official from the Sabarmati Riverfront Company, who didn’t want to be identified in print, said, “The bid has been scrutinised as per the rules and it is proposed to hand over the work to the Ahmedabad Racket Academy Pvt Ltd. The mayor, the chairman of the Standing Committee and other directors were present. Only after a thorough discussion will the proposal be sent to the board meeting for further approval. There is nothing wrong in the bid and it cannot be viewed politically.”
Meanwhile, Hitesh Barot, who is also the Sabarmati Riverfront Company director, said, “The municipal commissioner will take a decision on the proposal.”
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