Sorry state of saris

The conservancy staff of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) are crying foul over the uniform that had been given to them by the civic body. They complain that the saris that were given to them are of inferior quality.

Recently, the Maharashtra Navanirman Sena (MNS) raised the issue with the civic officials. “We gave a demonstration to the PMC officials three months ago. The sari loses colour after every single wash. We want the PMC to seek refund of the money it had paid to the contractor,” said Rupali Patil, MNS corporator.

Fading  business: Workers claim that the sari loses colour after every wash. Representation Pic

“Every year the workers complain of about the same. Though a team selects the sample, it is not practically possible to check each and every sari the contractor provides,” said Mukta Manohar, general secretary of PMC’s employee union.

Apart from the quality, the price at which the saris were bought too is bothering the civic body. According to the tender, the price of a sari was fixed at Rs 490, while the rate of a blouse piece to be given to the PMC was fixed at Rs 43. However, the civic officials found out that the actual price at which the contractor bought each sari was Rs 410, and a blouse piece for Rs 35.

“The contractor had also told us that he had purchased the saris from a Malegaon-based company. However, we came to know that the saris were purchased from Pune itself. It is a clear case of fraud, and we have sent show cause notice to the contractor.”

He added that in case they don’t receive a reply, they’ll take strict action against the contractor and recover the money,” said Shriniwas Kandul, head of Stores Department.

Speaking to MiD DAY, Sanjay Nevaskar, owner of Poonam Dresses and Tailoring, said, “I’ll reply to the notice that was sent to me. I have been working with the PMC since the past 35 years, and have never done any fraud. While applying for the tender, I had clearly mentioned that I’d provide a sari for Rs 490, which was accepted by the civic body. Besides, the file has gone through the Standing Committee as well. I had bought saris for Rs 410 each. The PMC cannot decide on my what rate I’ll make a purchase.”

Refuting allegations that the saris are of inferior quality, he said, “After the first wash the colour of any cotton sari fade a bit.”¬†

The deal
For the Financial Year 2011-12, the PMC had distributed 9,000 saris and blouse pieces to its workers. A tender, inviting bids to supply the saris, was floated by the civic body and the Standing Committee gave the work to Poonam Dresses and Tailoring that bid the lowest. On February 2, 2012 the company was given the work order, and between March and May 2012 the company completed its order by submitting the saris to the PMC Store Department.

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