Almost eight months after the municipal corporation’s audit department pointed at the ‘ghost’ employees fraud, MC commissioner Vivek Pratap Singh has finally shot off a letter to the UT adviser to order a vigilance inquiry.
It was in August last year, when HT had highlighted how 256 people transferred from the UT administration to the civic body in 1996 were in fact non-existent. In 1996, when the Chandigarh MC came into existence, the UT administration had transferred 1,369 employees of which only 1,113 joined the civic body. Yet the MC continued to pay salary arrears amounting to `25 lakh to the remaining 256 non-existent employees.
These employees had been deployed to work on muster rolls in various engineering departments of the administration and were paid daily wages.
As the matter came to light, civic body’s audit department in August last wrote to the MC commissioner asking him to conduct a thorough investigation into the matter, and the latter has only now written to UT adviser Vijay Kumar Dev to order an inquiry.
“It appears lakhs of rupees were embezzled in the process, which necessitates disciplinary action against the MC officials involved,” the department’s letter written to the commissioner read.
Nominated councillor Surinder Bahga said, “It is very unfortunate that MC is taking things so lightly. It’s a huge scam and the probe is likely to unearth the role of senior MC and administration officials.”
Speaking to HT, a senior officer of MC said, “A thorough inquiry is required into the matter. The fraud may run into crores of rupees as we don’t know for how long these non-existent employees had been withdrawing government funds on the basis of fictitious documents.”