The Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) has suffered a loss of Rs 6.5 crore in four projects at different times over the past three decades, including paying Rs 3.5 crore as interest to allottees of houses in a project it was to execute in partnership with the Parsvnath Developers Ltd, at the Information Technology Park (near the Lalit Hotel), after the project could not be finished in the mandated 36 months after its launch in October 2006.
This irregularity and others are part of an audit report of the Indian Audit and Accounts Department, Chandigarh.
Of the amount taken from the allottees in the IT project case, the CHB had kept 30% and had to return this with interest, after the state consumer redressal commission ordered refund of the money.
The CHB ended up having to pay an additional Rs 3.5 crore in interest (at the rate of 9%) from June 3, 2013 to January 1, 2014.
IDLE construction stock resulted in Rs 50-lakh loss
The engineering wing of the CHB, which constructs houses/flats and buildings bought stock like cement, steel, bitumen, aluminum, door and bath fitting and other items worth Rs 50 lakh from 1983 to 2006, but did not use it, the audit report documents. This led to the rusting and damage of material, making it unusable. The officers concerned did not make any attempt to utilise the available material, the report documents.
In a project at Mauli Jagran, a loss of around Rs 3 crore was caused to the CHB. The board started constructing 1,696 flats at Mauli Jagran-11 (as part of a slum rehabilitation project) under the BSUP (Basic Services to the Urban Poor) scheme at a cost of Rs 50.42 crore. Though the construction was over in August 2012, work related to construction of roads, streetlights and public health was allotted only in January 2013, due to the non- availability of encumbrances-free work site.
This led to the escalation of the cost of project by Rs 2.26 crore.
In the same project, the CHB suffered a loss of Rs 72 lakh due to excess consumption of material over the quantity prescribed in the agreement, the report adds.
When contacted, CHB chairman Bhupinder Singh Bhalla said, “I have not read the report and observations and actions will be taken only after I go through it.”