Installation of solar lights: Amid allegations, ACD says due process of law was followed

'Installation of solar lights: Amid allegations, ACD says due process of law was followed'

The process of installation of solar lights in different Panchayati segments of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district has been put on hold by the administration after some DDC members alleged that lights have been procured at higher rates, a charge refuted by District Administration Pulwama.
Rural Development Department with the consent and approval from the District Development Council (DDC) members and PRIs installs street lights in Panchayat Halqas out of the PRI funds in Jammu and Kashmir.
The tenders are floated by the Rural Development Department with the approval of the Assistant Commissioner Development (ACD) through the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) portal.
Some DDC members alleged that work was allotted to ‘blue-eyed’ contractors and a single light which costs Rs 14,000 has been purchased for Rs 23,000. They also alleged that the ACD Office opened the link for e-tenders on GeM portal for a limited time so that a blue-eyed contractors get the tenders. 
While terming the allegations baseless, Assistant Commissioner Development Pulwama told news agency KNT that he has no control over GeM portal as it is run and managed by the Government of India. “If this portal was not thrown open for the public, then how come 9 companies including a couple of companies from outside participated in the e-tendring process,” he said adding that those who have grievances should visit his office so that issues will be sorted out.
In response to a question, ACD Pulwama said that due process of law was followed and everything was done in a transparent manner.
 Meanwhile, another official from district administration said that:  “the solar light that had been purchased for Rs 23,000 includes GST, installation and carriage cost. The same light is being installed by Jammu Kashmir Energy Development Agency (JKEDA) for Rs 22,000 but that doesn’t include GST, installation and carriage cost. If we add GST, installation and carriage cost, then our light comes at a low cost as compared to the one installed by JKEDA,” the official said adding that it is easy to be part of problem than part of the solution