Mayor orders probe, asks for report within a week

  • Hillary Victor, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Nov 21, 2014 10:29 IST

City mayor Harphool Chander Kalyan has ordered probe in the municipal corporation (MC) tender scam and asked for a report within a week.

Confirming, Kalyan said, “I have already written to MC commissioner Vivek Pratap Singh to constitute a committee and submit a report within a week. The reports being carried in the Hindustan Times are serious in nature and I will tolerate any hanky-panky.”

MC suffers Rs 4 crore, authorities unmoved

Carrying forward HT investigation, serious irregularities have come to the fore in the tender process for the operation and maintenance of Sewerage Treatment Plant (STP), Diggian, SAS Nagar, which caused a loss of Rs 4 crore to the public exchequer.

MC chief engineer Mukesh Anand has observed that the public health department has provided undue favour to the tune of Rs 75 lakh per year to Pune-based private firm Thermax and Panchkula-based agency M/s HL Handa, which are maintaining the plant since 2007-08.

As per the MC record, the operation of the STP was allotted to Thermax in February 2007 and M/s HL Handa in August 2008 with the operation and maintenance period of 10 years.

As per the terms and conditions of detailed notice inviting tenders (DNIT), it was mentioned that the company would carry out disposal of sludge produced within the boundary of the STP, watch and ward of premises, supply of chemicals and reagents and to maintain the dry beds.

However, the executive engineer, Gurpreet Singh, keeping at bay the terms and condition of the DNIT, invited different tenders for supply of polyelectrolyte (chemical used for treatment of sewer water), providing services of tractor trolley for disposal of sludge at the STP plant, operation and running of 10 million gallon daily (MGD) tertiary pump house, Phase 1, at the plant and deployment of security staff, with total expenditure of `75 lakh per year. It has been going for the past five years, the record states.

The chief engineer office further states that it is quite amazing to know that tenders/ DNIT are received in contradiction to various terms and conditions of the DNIT, which is duly recommended by the superintending engineer, public health wing, and he also pointed out the duplicity and wrong intention on part of XEN Gurpreet Singh and the officers below.

The executive engineer in its reply stated that the material had been issued as per terms and conditions.

No reply from public health wing, says chief engineer

However, chief engineer Mukesh Anand said, “I have already communicated about the irregularities to the public health wing, but have yet not got any reply.”

Former mayor Subhash Chawla said, “The officers are well aware of all these scams, but keep things under wrap and we cannot accept any justice from them. I appeal to all councillors to rise above party lines for demanding impartial inquiry into the entire scam. It is a matter to be investigated which officer initiated floating of tenders at the STP when it was not as per DNIT.”

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