The commissioner of the Chandigarh municipal corporation has failed to take action against two executive engineers of the MC's public health department who violated rules in floating tenders worth `7 crore from October 2011 to July 2012.
The superintending engineer of department, RC Diwan, prepared a report a year ago and recommended departmental action to the MC commissioner, Vivek Pratap Singh.
It was in September 2012 that HT had reported that the executive engineers of divisions 1 and 4, Harinder Singh and Gurpreet Singh, respectively, floated tenders worth nearly `7 crore without having any powers under the departmental financial rules of the UT administration.
Both engineers had floated the tenders without getting the detailed notice inviting tender from the superintending engineer, which was mandatory.
In all, Harinder Singh floated 110 tenders for various works of maintenance under the non-plan budget head, worth nearly `2 crore, while Gurpreet Singh floated 250 similar tenders worth around ` 5 crore.
As per the rules, financial powers of an executive engineer under non-plan head extend to work worth `1 lakh in each case, while the SE is authorised up to `4 lakh. Whereas, in the cited cases, all 360 tenders invited by both executive engineers were worth `1 lakh to `2.5 lakh each.
This was done despite instructions of the superintending engineer issued in 2011 to all executive engineers that the rules must strictly be followed, failing which they would be solely responsible.
Most of the expenditure as per MC record was incurred on maintenance of pumping machinery at various waterworks in division 1, whereas, in division number 4, the maximum expenditure was incurred on maintenance of sewerage treatment plant (STP) and drainage gullies.
When contacted, Diwan said, "I have already submitted the report for action to the commissioner, and cannot comment further." Despite repeated attempts, MC commissioner Vivek Pratap Singh could not be contacted.
Nominated councillor Surinder Bahga said, "It's strange that the authorities have not taken any action on such a serious issue. Now eyebrows are being raised whether the amount has actually been spent or not. I will raise the issue in the MC House and demand a vigilance inquiry."