Embezzlement alleged in construction of road

  • Roop Upadhyay, Hindustan Times, Mandi
  • Updated: May 21, 2014 21:01 IST

Kamgaar Sangthan president Sant Ram, who is also a Right to Information (RTI) activist, has alleged that an embezzlement of lakhs of rupees has taken place in the construction of Balichowki-Sudhrani road in this district but officials are turning a blind eye to the matter.

Sant Ram, along with a number of villagers, has submitted a memorandum to the public works department (PWD) chief engineer through the naib tehsildar at Balichowki area on Monday.

Talking to media persons at Balichowki, Sant Ram said that information obtained through the RTI Act has disclosed that in 2007, MSV Ratna construction company was awarded the project for widening of a 14-km stretch of the Balichowki-Sudhrani road, construction of parapet, drains and widening of blind curves.

According to the agreement, the company was supposed to construct the road and maintan it up to 2013.

He added that the PWD department sanctioned `2.80 crore budget in 2007 for the purpose under Pradhan Mantri Sadak Yojna scheme but the company did not to fulfill the criteria and failed even to widen blind curves which is the utmost need for safe travelling.

He said that PWD, instead of taking action against the erring construction company over non-fulfillment of clauses of agreement, issued separate tenders for the tarring and re-tendering for the same incomplete work left unattended by the construction company.

"Does that mean that PWD is going to spend public money twice on the same construction work. The villagers have the right to know as to why the department has spared the defaulting construction company", said Sant Ram.

He added that 70% drains and parapets constructed by the construction company have been washed away during the past five years and blind curves have remained unattended due to which crossing of heavy vehicle or buses is definitely a risky job and any kind of over-taking can prove fatal.

"The road is neither safe nor usable after spending lakhs of rupees from the state exchequer", he added.
He said that the villagers have demanded an inquiry into the matte, failing which the Kamgaar Sangthan, along with villagers, will organise a protest on the road.

When contacted Assistant engineer RP Sharma said that he has joined the office recently and he can respond over the matter after studying the file.

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