CM brought transparency in Highways dept tenders: Ponnaiyan

Chennai: Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami was the first to bring transparency in tenders for works in the Highways department, said former Minister and AIADMK leader C Ponnaiyan.

Denying he had said an appeal will be made against the High Court order for CBI enquiry in the alleged favouritism in granting tender for Highways works, Ponnaiyan today said that he was misquoted by DMK leader M K Stalin.

He clarified that DVAC is an independent institution. “I only said that there are possibilities for appeal in the order,” he said.

When DMK was in power, they followed Box Tender system. It was easy for them to grant work to their own people. However after Palaniswami became Chief Minister, he made it online. All payments were initiated through RTGS. “He was the first to implement it in the country,” Ponnaiyan said.

For maintenance of Ottanchathiran – Avinashi road, it was fixed at Rs 10 crore for one kilometre. However for the same during the DMK government, it was Rs 33 crore for one kilometre, he added.

Quoting 1962 GO, the AIADMK leader said the argument that the Chief Minister showed favouritism and awarded contracts to his relatives is not true. Those in Ramalingam Company (one who got the contract) were not his blood relative, he said and added, “During 2000, 2003, 2007 and 2010, the DMK government granted contracts for the same company.”

NT Bureau