Mysore/Mysuru: Continuing his tirade against IAS Officer and former Mysuru Deputy Commissioner (DC) Rohini Sindhuri even after three months of her transfer to Bengaluru from Mysuru, K.R. Nagar JD(S) MLA S.R. Mahesh accused Rohini Sindhuri of corruption in the cloth bag distribution scheme as part of plastic-free campaign in Mysuru district when she had served as Mysuru DC.
Addrressing a press meet at his office near Ramavilas Road here yesterday, S.R. Mahesh shared details of the alleged corruption in the cloth bag distribution scheme, which had been initiated by Sindhuri earlier this year for distribution of environment-friendly cloth bags as part of making Mysuru district plastic-free.
Maintaining that the IAS Officer had placed an order for 14.71 lakh cloth bags at a price of Rs. 52 a piece, which amounted to Rs. 7.65 crore, meant for distribution to households in all Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) of the district, including Mysuru City Corporation (MCC), the MLA claimed that the cloth bags were actually available for Rs. 13 a piece in the retail market in Mysuru. Under the scheme, every household was to receive two bags — one with a capacity to carry 5 kg and another 10 kg, he said.
Alleging kickback in the scheme, which had led to a loss of more than Rs. 6 crore to the State exchequer, Mahesh contended that the scheme was taken up without bringing the matter to the notice of any ULBs in the district.
Charging Sindhuri of thrusting the scheme upon ULBs without having discussed the proposal in the elected Councils of Local Bodies, he argued that the Local Bodies were now refusing to clear the proposal and give financial approval for making payment to supplied cloth bags. A huge consignment of cloth bags is now stocked in a building in Mysuru, he added.
IAS Officer refutes charge
Reacting to the accusation, IAS Officer Rohini Sindhuri denied the charges and said that it was attempt on the part of the MLA to browbeat and scare officers, who dare to inquire into illegalities and irregularities against people representatives and other individuals.
Asserting that the work order for cloth bags distribution scheme was given to State-run Karnataka Handloom Development Corporation (KHDC), she said that the order was placed in compliance with Karnataka Transparency in Public Procurements (KTPP) Act.
Insisting that not a single rupee was paid as kickback during her tenure as Mysuru DC, Sindhuri said that Nanjangud CMC recently made a payment of about Rs. 9.6 lakh to KHDC and is the first ULB to do so. This is the only payment made to KHDC so far in respect of cloth bags procurement, she argued and expressed the hope that the current officials would continue the probe against individuals who are making allegations against her, which are nothing but baseless and unfounded.