Mysore: Director General (DG) of the Administrative Training Institute,( ATI), V Rashmi, who is in the eye of a storm following her charges of corruption and misuse of office against her predecessor, Amita Prasad, has claimed the former DG ignored the heritage walks offered free of cost to ATI trainees by the Department of Archaeology, Heritage and Museums and paid a private agency to conduct them instead for no valid reason causing a loss of nearly Rs 11 lakhs in the process.
In her report to the state Chief Secretary, Ms Rashmi has claimed that Ms Prasad issued a circular in October 2009 allowing Royal Mysore Walks to conduct heritage walks for all trainees of ATI, SIRD and SIUD for a fee of Rs 150 per trainee.
The circular was extended in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, according to her. “Through a single circular a private agency has been entrusted with continuous recurring business of more than a lakh rupees every year.
The private agency has been arbitrarily chosen by the former DG with a requisition letter, without floating of tender in violation of the Karnataka Transparency in Public Procurement Act. And no record is maintained of the names of the trainees who actually availed the service,” she said.
The officer pointed out that the Commissioner, Department of Archaeology, Heritage and Museums (DAHM), had been conducting heritage walks for years.
“Since I reported on July 7, 2014, heritage walks have been organized by the DHAM for the trainees. It is free of cost and superior in quality, is informative and educative.
Despite several letters every year requesting ATI to avail its services from the commissioner of DAHM, the former DG, ATI chose to arbitrarily opt for Royal Walks Mysore causing loss of funds to the extent of 10,91,089.
This is not a procedural lapse on the part of the then DG ATI, but an informed decision to willfully favour a private agency,” Ms Rashmi charged.