Seven engineers of the Chandigarh municipal corporation’s (MC) public health wing will face action in the tender process for the operation and maintenance of Sewerage Treatment Plant (STP), Diggian, SAS Nagar, which caused a loss of Rs 4.5 crore to the public exchequer.
The MC will also recover the said amount from Pune-based private firm Thermax and Panchkula-based agency M/s HL Handa, which are maintaining the plant since 2007-08 for the period of 10 years.
On November 21, HT in their series highlighted that the public health department provided undue favour to the tune of Rs 75 lakh per year to agencies.
As per the terms and conditions of detailed notice inviting tenders (DNIT), it was mentioned that the company would carry out disposal of sludge produced within the boundary of the STP, watch and ward of premises, supply of chemicals and reagents and maintain the dry beds, but surprisingly, tenders were floated for same works by the MC engineers, causing a loss of Rs 4.5 crore in the past five years.
The defaulting engineers of the public health wing, who were maintaining the plant and were involved in the tender process, are VK Garg, executive engineer (now repatriated to parent home state Punjab); Gurpreet Singh, executive engineer; Harish Saini, the then sub-divisional officer; Sat Kartar Singh, sub-divisional engineer (SDE, now repatriated to parent home state Haryana); Jaspal Singh, SDE (retired); Gaurav Pal, junior engineer; and Lalit Kumar, junior engineer.
Confirming the development, MC chief engineer Mukesh Anand said, “We will first recover the money from the agencies and then action will be taken against the engineers who initiated the process of purchasing chemicals and floated tenders that were not required. It is a huge loss to the public exchequer and we will not tolerate this.”
According to sources, the erring officers who are currently working with the MC or repatriated to parent state will be chargesheeted. Decision will be taken separately regarding those who have superannuated.