Call it selective amnesia or fear of skeletons tumbling out of the closet of the Municipal Corporation Chandigarh, not even a single report has been submitted or tabled in the House even as the civic body ordered four probes into irregularities concerning civic issues in the past two years, exposing the lack of seriousness on the part of the officials concerned.
HT had highlighted the irregularities, following which inquiries were marked into the cases. Ironically, the councillors, who are loud and vocal on the floor of the house while seeking action against officials guilty during departmental inquiries, are reluctant to pursue the cases later on.
After repeated attempts, MC commissioner Vivek Pratap Singh could not be contacted for his comments on the issue.
2 years on, pipeline scam probe nowhere
It was in December last year when MC commissioner Vivek Pratap Singh said that the civic body would write to the UT administration to hand over the inquiry to another officer in the case pertaining to the laying of 600-mm mild-steel (MS) pipe for supplying water from the Sector-39 waterworks to Chandimandir Cantonment.
MC officials allegedly favoured a private firm, Spun Pipe Construction Company, by inflating the costs and thus caused a loss of Rs 2 crore to the MES. Surprisingly, the MC did not even write to the UT administration. In May 2012, the then vigilance officer of MC, Lalit Siwach, was handed over the probe but after 18 months he claimed that he could not inquire the case since he “was too busy” and has now been repatriated and hence the case be given to another officer.
No action for loss of Rs 25 lakh
In January 2012, the then MC commissioner Prerna Puri ordered probe into the loss of Rs 25 lakh due to 18 illegal extensions given to a company which was allotted the contract to computerise registration and issuance of birth and death certificates department in violation of rules. But no report has been prepared or tabled till date. The then additional commissioner Lalit Siwach was to conduct the inquiry.
nothing happened in Rs 50-lakh loss Probe
It was in July 2013 when MC commissioner Vivek Pratap Singh ordered an inquiry into the loss of Rs 50 lakh in the case pertaining to illegal functioning of three water kiosks in sector 17, but even after a year no notice has been issued to the company or any action taken against officials who allowed it to operate.
HT investigation has revealed that the process to allot the kiosks was last finalised seven years ago and the contractor functioned illegally and caused a loss of Rs 50 lakh to the civic body due to revenue lost from advertising rights at the kiosks. The contractor was forced to shut down operations in June last year.
chlorinators’ Probe hangs fire
In September 2012, MC Commissioner Vivek Pratap Singh ordered an inquiry into 50 defunct chlorinators installed at tubewells in southern sectors of the city, but no report has been prepared till date. The commissioner had constituted a three-member committee headed by the then additional commissioner Lalit Siwach, who was supposed to file report within a week.