Mumbai Municipal Corp Cancels EoI for Body Bags; BMC Was Buying it at Rs6,719 Against a Price of Rs202
Moneylife Digital Team 12 June 2020

The BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to cancel an expression of interest (EoI) that had quoted rates for body bags at more than 33 times than the market price. As per the EoI (DMC/CPD/ 38 dt. 14.04.2020) issued in April, the fixed rate for body bags was quoted at Rs6,719 per bag. However, as part of the coronavirus (COVID-19) relief, Moneylife Foundation and several others, including the BMC-run hospitals, have been buying these body bags at Rs180 to Rs202.
 
Moneylife contacted Iqbal Singh Chahal, municipal commissioner of BMC and pointed out the huge price difference in its EoI and market price of the body bags. Mr Chahal acted swiftly and immediately decided to cancel the EoI for body bags.

The April EoI had mentioned fixed prices for several items, including body bags at Rs6,719 per bag and N95 masks at Rs42 per mask. The EoI mentions that the supplier can quote rates lower than these fixed rates. In the EoI and willingness to supply the material, the BMC stated, "If any supplier quotes lower rate for any item and give supply then the existing suppliers should match the lower rate and supply with that rate."
 
However, as per our information, none of the suppliers quoted lower rates for body bags and one supplier was providing it at Rs6,719 per bag.
 
 
The revised EoI does not have body bag as material to be procured from suppliers. (see image below)
 
 
Social activist Anjali Damania, in a tweet, had said that the supplier for the body bags for EoI floated in April 2020, is a company called Vedant Innotech Pvt Ltd, with a main business of casting.
As per guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO), all Covid-19 bodies are to be transported in body bags to prevent the spread of the virus. After the corona virus outbreak, hospital are using body bags for transporting body of every dead person, which has created a demand for these bags. 
 
While the BMC have been supplying body bags to hospitals, it is not adequate. After receiving request from doctors from many hospitals in Mumbai, Moneylife Foundation procured body bags from registered suppliers and so far, have provided about 2,000 body bags. (Do check https://www.mlfoundation.in/newsletters.html)
 
 
 
Moneylife readers may be aware about our articles on increased prices of N95 masks and the subsequent order passed by the Bombay High Court directing the government to cap prices within two weeks. The public interest litigation (PIL) was filed by Sucheta Dalal and Anjali Damania. 
 
Moneylife Foundation was able to buy N95 masks from Venus Safety & Health Pvt Ltd at almost the same rate as fixed by the BMC. However, when the Foundation wanted to buy more masks for distributing among hospitals in Mumbai, it was told about shortage. Soon after, Moneylife Foundation started received calls and messages from suppliers of N95 masks, who were quoting a price of more than Rs250 per mask. (Read: N95 Masks: Bombay HC Asks Union Govt and NPPA To Cap Prices in 2 Weeks)
 
Comments
shirish.s
2 years ago
Excellent work, Sucheta madam.
You have saved MCGM.
We should appreciate action by Municipal Commissioner, so quick.
tillan2k
2 years ago
remember coffin box during Kargil skirmish x times and thing blew up how they were given decent burial.. imagine the richness of supply chain constituents ask the bidder he will be tell u wher the difference will go and he will only have REASOnABLE PROFIT
Dilip Modi
2 years ago
Well done Money life team for your vigilance and follow up. Like the post audit situation in IL&FS, who is accountable in BMC for such lapses?
cvkakatkar
2 years ago
GOOD OF YOU - MONEY LIFE.
WHO IS ACCOUNTABLE FOR THIS CASE ?
Aar Aar
2 years ago
Respect to the ML foundation for stopping this loot.
3000% robbery at the time of human crisis? BMC administrators you people have no heart.
m.prabhu.shankar
2 years ago
Taking commissions and corruption is criminal offence and bad. But its prevalent everywhere. But in this case what is the corruption level - (6719 - 202) / 202 * 100 = 3226 %. People like me find it difficult to believe. Can a corruption / commissioning happen at this percentage. Shocking. Indicates how important Orgs like MoneyLife and NGOs run by good people like Anjali Damani. Thanks a lot to both of them.
hamungel
2 years ago
Moneylife and Mrs. Damania are doing excellent work to eradicate the cancer of corruption in these difficult times. I wish them all the best.
vram2311
2 years ago
kudos to the ML team
shirish.s
2 years ago
When the nation is suffering, these people don't hesitate to cook their food on the flame of a dead burning body.
My congratulation to Sucheta Dalal and Anjali Damania, for their yeoman's service in this high-risk global health environment.
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