In order to give benefit to favourite agencies, the public health department of the Chandigarh municipal corporation (MC) has given higher rates to agencies as evident from allotment letters issued for similar works. This came to the light during the investigation carried out by HT.
On Monday, HT had highlighted how the public health department had been making fabricated payments worth Rs 1 crore to agencies for artificial tenders and quotations for works never executed. Most of these works have been executed in Manimajra and colonies.
For cleaning and removing 385 cubic metre malba from the bed of the nullah of reinforce cement concrete slabs of existing drain, the MC quoted Rs 185 per cubic metre in May 2014 in Manimajra. But it was allowed for Rs 403.85 per cubic metre in September 2014 in Manimajra.
In yet another case, the quantity of removal of malba, bushes, polythene bags from manholes at Pipliwala town, Modern Housing Complex, has been shown as 275 cubic metre at a rate of Rs 600 per cubic metre, in October.
Apart from this, there are several examples of repair and maintenance of tubewell machinery where the quantity of repairs of water pipes and joints has been shown arbitrary for the past one year.
In case of repair of machinery, MC chief engineer Mukesh Anand on May 26 constituted a committee to check the machinery before it is sent for repair, but it seems from allotment that direct tenders have been invited wherein the quantity of repair and replaced items have not been defined and lump sum and vague items have been mentioned, whereas each item which is to be replaced or repaired should have been mentioned in the allotment letters.
The above said works were allotted in spite of the fact that the work force was already engaged for maintenance of stormwater and sewerage system in respective areas, which showed that works were never executed.
Nominated councillor Surinder Bahga said, “It should be checked whether the department has maintained any record of vehicles carrying malba to the disposal point.”
One of the contractors said, “The said agencies do not execute any work and fictitious bills are prepared in connivance with officers. In the past, agencies are manipulating e-tendering by pooling the tenders, which is evident from the MC record.”
RC Diwan, superintending engineer, public health department said,“Let the panel which will be constituted by the chief engineer investigate the matter. Action will be taken accordingly.”
Agencies in question
Agencies involved are M/S Passionate at Janpura village, Banur; M/s Giant Engineer, Rajpura; M/s Next Generation Engineers, Sector 28; and Arvind Electrical, Industrial Area-1. It is learnt that all agencies are managed by an operator with the UT public health department.
The contractor prepares detailed notice inviting tenders (DNIT) for different items of same works under the non-plan head in a different way, so it appears to be a different tender. For instance, for cleaning a manhole, the contractor in one DNIT will only mention the rate of cleaning per manhole, whereas in another DNIT, he will mention the rate in cubic metre. The officers do not even object to such tenders and allot the work to the contractor.
In one of the cases, for removing 385 cubic metre malba, the MC quoted Rs 185 per cubic metre. But it was allowed for Rs 403.85 per cubic metre.
The rate of cleaning a manhole at Manimajra and Mauli Jagran varies from Rs 600 to Rs 900 for cleaning around 700 manholes.