Pimpri Chinchwad: Masks of poor quality distributed in the PCMC area

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Shikha Chaurasia

Pimpri, July 17, 2020: A probe was conducted by a three-member committee appointed by the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) in the matter of distribution of poor quality masks. The probe found out that the masks distributed free of cost to the citizens residing in the PCMC area are of substandard quality and do not fit into the criteria set by the PCMC.

The committee investigated after the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) had raised concerns over the quality of masks distributed to the citizens in March and April.

The civic body had purchased masks worth Rs 1.70 crore according to the directions given by the ruling party. After procuring these masks, the civic body distributed them in COVID-19 hotspots, hospitals and other sensitive areas within its jurisdiction.

Later, many elected NCP members raised the issue of poor quality of masks and the process of procuring the masks were intertwined with irregularities in a meeting after which, the PCMC Chief set up a committee to probe the matter.

Manoj Lonkar, assistant commissioner in the investigating team said, “Our investigation has revealed that the masks procured from Sai Enterprises and Gurunoor Enterprises were faulty. Their material did not meet the desired criteria set by the PCMC. The PCMC Commissioner will now take further action.”

NCP leader Sanjog Waghire said, “The people responsible for providing poor quality masks must be punished. It is also the fault of the PCMC as they did not verify the quality of masks before distributing it to the public.” He also accused the officials responsible for procuring masks of having ‘vested interest’ in the deal.

Another PCMC official said that it is up to the commissioner to decide whether the companies should be blacklisted. The official also said they will serve a notice to the responsible suppliers and also verify the number of poor quality masks supplied and demand a refund from them.