MC to implement Punjab municipal code

  • Hillary Victor, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Nov 29, 2014 12:44 IST

Following a five-part investigative series exposing the tender scam in the municipal corporation (MC), the House has decided that the civic body will implement the Punjab municipal code for executing any work under the non-plan head.

In the monthly House meeting held on Friday, it was also decided that for the time being the MC officers would intimate area councillors regarding works under the non-plan head.

As per the Punjab municipal code, non-plan works are to be discussed and approved by the committees concerned, but the Chandigarh MC’s executive engineers were floating tenders from `1 lakh to `2.5 lakh without any approval and it was going on since the formation of MC in 1996.

In the five-part series starting November 17, HT had highlighted various irregularities in the tender process under the non-plan head and how the MC made payments worth `1 crore to agencies for artificial tenders and quotations for works never executed.

Raising the issue, former mayor Subhash Chawala said, “The MC cannot deny the HT reports. We have been demanding approval for works by the House or committees for the past so many years, but officers never took it seriously. We do not even know whether the works under non-plan head have been actually executed.”

‘Ht reports eye-opener’

Nominated councillor Major DS Sandhu (retd) said, “The HT reports wherein huge disparity in rates for similar works at same place was highlighted were an eye-opener for us. Transparency is must and accountability should also be fixed.”

He said special audit should be conducted based on the reports as to how many tenders of similar nature had been floated as the officers concerned have the entire record.

Deputy mayor Davesh Moudgil and ex-mayor Harjinder Kaur also raised the issue that the councillors were not aware of any execution of works in their wards. They said in the past also it had been mentioned that the officer concerned would inform the councillor regarding any work going on in their ward and a copy of allotment letter would send to them, but nothing happened.

MC commissioner Vivek Pratap Singh said, “Transparency is must for such works and action should be initiated against guilty officers. Also, after the reports, chief engineer Mukesh Anand sought the record from the public health wing regarding floating of tenders under the non-plan head in the past two years and mayor HC Kalyan too had also marked an inquiry in the case.”

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