In an example of officials running roughshod over law, the public health department of the municipal corporation (MC) continues to float fake tenders.
It has been learnt that some officials of the department have been continuously seeking ‘adjustments’ in payments made
to contractors as ‘bribe’.
Recently, contractor Karamjeet Singh, who owns M/s Soni Enterprises, complained to Vivek Pratap Singh, MC commissioner, alleging demand of bribe by sub-divisional engineer Amit Sharma of the public health department for releasing payment for the repair work of sluice wall and assembling of non-clog sewage pump at a booster in Sector 55, Chandigarh.
Singh alleged that another tender for the same booster was also allotted to his company on March 14, 2014, but the work was not executed by the MC, and that tender was only floated for the ‘adjustment’ purpose.
Alleging further, he stated that in an another case — wherein he was allotted work — even the detailed notice inviting tenders (DNIT) was also prepared, and certain items were included for repair of the pump, but they were not actually the part of the pump.
In November 2014, HT, reporting the issue of tender scams extensively, had published how the public health department of the MC had been making fabricated payments worth Rs 1 crore to agencies by floating artificial tenders and quotations for works that were never executed.
During the investigation, it was found that skipping the protocol, the hefty payments - ranging between Rs 3 lakh and Rs 5 lakh - were distributed directly among officers concerned.
In certain cases, repeated tenders were invited and allotted to the same agencies. Also, the allotment letters for the works, copies of which are in possession of HT, carry no details of the location of the allotted work.
The nature of tenders allotted include repair of water supply pipes, its joints; cleaning of manholes at various locations in respect of storm water drain and sewerage system; repair of pumping machinery and defective parts of various tubewells; repair of road gullies and manholes; and providing or fixing manhole covers, road gully covers and their frames.
However, when contacted, MC chief engineer Mukesh Anand, admitting he had received a complaint, said, “The issue is being examined. If anyone is found guilty, action will be taken.”