Food contracts: Gujarat HC criticises state government

Gujarat high court chastises state government for awarding food contracts to private contractors . Government also delayed any new government tenders .

AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat high court chastised the state government for awarding food contracts to schools, anganwadis, and hostels in tribal areas to private contractors rather than women self-help organizations on Friday.It also delayed any new government tenders.The state government was directed by Chief Justice Aravind Kumar and Justice Ashutosh Shastri to make sure no child in any tribal or other school is denied basic food provided in any way while remaining the tenders.The problem began after two womens groups lodged petitions in the HC, led by advocate S P Hasurkar.

Private contractors have been granted contracts for 48 schools out of 102 adarsh vidhyalayas, government hostels, eklavya shala, etc.in tribal areas.This is in breach of the Supreme Courts' stated rules that the work should be done by women's organizations, not to private contractors.The bench remarked that it was a clear case of the government disregarding the resolution and the Supreme Courts' orders after hearing the self-help groups who were refused work orders despite succeeding in the tendering process.

The judges observed that typical competitions are released to remove women from the process.You are committing this with a vengeance, and the primary purpose of supporting tribal women in Gujarat is being truncated, the chief justice observed while calling for a stand.