Giving a week’s time to the municipal corporation (MC)’s public health department, chief engineer Mukesh Anand has sought the record of tenders floated by it under the non-plan head in the past two years.
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.
It has also come to the light that four tubewells located at waterworks in Sector 39 are lying defunct for the past three years, but the MC is paying for its maintenance and has till date paid nearly Rs 10 lakh.
In another case, a tubewell at the waterworks in Sector 37 is lying defunct for the past two years, but the MC is carrying out its maintenance and Rs 2 lakh have been paid for its repair.
Loss to exchequer
The question which arises is why and to whom the payments are being made for defunct tubwells, causing a huge loss to the public exchequer.
When contacted, Anand said, “We have already asked the department to submit the record pertaining to tenders within a week. Once record is submitted, it will be scanned and action will be initiated accordingly.”
The situation is no different in the case of sewerage treatment plant at Diggian in SAS Nagar. In November 2013, the MC executive engineer, public health division number 4, allotted the work to agency namely Giant Engineer, Rajpura, where 3,020 cubic metre (rubbish of 500 trucks) of organic and inorganic waste, grass, polythene bags have been shown to be disposed of at the rate of Rs 81 per cubic metre and in February 2014, for 870 cubic metre (150 truck load) of waste such as leaves, polythene bags have been shown to be disposed at the rate of Rs 229 per cubic metre by M/s Passionate Engineers, SAS Nagar.
According to a senior officer, many other tubewells are also lying defunct, but it needs to be checked if the MC is paying for their maintenance.
In yet another allotment in favour of Giant Engineers, Rajpura, in June, the work for cleaning malba from 266 manholes of sewer and stormwater drain under subdivision 13 of the public health department was put at the rate of Rs 550 per manhole. In spite of the fact that the MC is having sewer cleaning machines with all quarters concerned, along with additional labour, allotting of such works appears to be fictitious.
Difference in rates
Deputy mayor Davesh Moudgil said, “There is a huge difference in rates and there is no such dumping ground where the said quantity of rubbish can be disposed of in Chandigarh and SAS Nagar.
It appears that the work may not have been executed. The record also speaks about volume of repair of damaged water supply lines and its joints of different sizes in the distribution system and rising main (feeding to waterworks) allotted repeatedly. It needs to be investigated that under what circumstances there has been so much damage to the pipelines.”
A junior engineer with the MC said, “Huge fictitious payments have been made to agencies in connivance with officers and executive engineers only pass the bills for fictitious works.”