Devendra Fadnavis orders probe into CCTV installation for Kumbh mela in Nashik

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today ordered a probe into alleged charges of corruption in awarding contracts for installation of CCTV cameras in Nashik for the upcoming Sinhastha Kumbh mela.

"I order probe in the installation of CCTV cameras in Nashik by the Additional Chief secretary Home. Company Price Waterhouse Cooper (PwC) has been appointed as the nodal agency while another company, Wipro has been given the project. However, there are some doubts over it which need to be cleared," Fadnavis said in the Legislative Council today.

NCP MLC Jayant Jadhav alleged corruption in CCTVs (closed-circuit television) installation and said the company that was awarded the contract, is not eligible for it.

Jadhav also questioned the amount of funds alloted by the government for Kumbh mela in the latest budget and enquired if it was in addition to the one alloted in previous years' budget. In his reply, Fadnavis said a total of Rs 2,629 crore has been alloted for Kumbh mela and it is adequate to carry out the developmental works for the largest holy festival of Hindus, which commences from July 14.

"Out of the total 311 works that were listed in Nashik, 15 have been completed, while 207 are in progress. 42 are yet to start due to some technicalities. But, completion of work has to be fastened," he said.

"The government wanted to install permanent CCTVs. However, authorities said it's not possible in the period of three months. Therefore, it was decided to install them on a temporary basis," Fadnavis added. Leader of opposition, Dhanajay Munde asked why the decisions about CCTV and appointing PwC were not put on the government website.

Taking cognisance of the issue, Fadnavis said that the point will be incorporated in the inquiry. While replying to another question raised by NCP's Hemant Takle, Fadnavis said the state government plans to make the Kumbhmela into a "brand", that would attract tourists from across the world and thereby, generate employment.

"We want to make Kumbh mela into a brand that can attract tourists from across the world that can generate employment in the region," he said. Fadnavis said his government has not make any major changes in the Kumbh mela development plan prepared by the previous government.

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