NAGPUR: The artists’ council of Nagpur has filed a writ petition in the high court challenging the Nagpur Mahotsav organized by Nagpur Municipal Corporation at Yashwant Stadium in the city from January 22 to January 26. The petition notwithstanding, standing committee chairman Narendra Borkar on Monday, gave a nod to the civic administration to finalize the tender of M/s Admaark Event Company.

The NMC has planned a slew of programmes to celebrate Nagpur Festival in which many eminent artistes like Asha Bhosle, Sukhvinder Singh, a poets’ meet and local artists will perform. The NMC had invited tenders and also appointed Admaark for Rs 2 crore. Later, the artists’ council of Nagpur, led by its president OP Singh, had approached the Bombay High Court against tender process of the event and sought cancellation of the tender. Singh demanded an inquiry into the affairs pertaining to Nagpur Mahotsav and action against the erring officers.

The high court issued notices to the NMC and concerned parties, which prompted the NMC to retender the process. Subsequently, three firms made the bid, but on Monday, the standing panel okayed the civic administration’s proposal to appoint Admaark to conduct the festival for Rs 1.75 crore. Though the firm quoted the lowest amount of Rs 1.96 crore against the two other contenders, the civic body however negotiated the amount to Rs 1.75 crore.

However, sources wondered the civic body’s decision to appoint the firm when it is experiencing cash crunch, while pointing out that last year the civic body had organized the Nagpur Festival by spending Rs 1.20 crore.

On Monday, the standing panel also gave its nod to invite tenders worth Rs 8.69 crore and administrative approval worth Rs 14.86 crore for various works including road asphaltation. Municipal commissioner Shravan Hardikar said the panel that superintending engineer Prakash Urade has been told to inspect IRDP roads and followed by inspection the civic body will start asphalting on priority basis.

By Anupama

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