The municipal corporation (MC) of Chandigarh has again floated tenders worth Rs 1 crore for cleaning up the road gullies, the outlets for disposal of rain water in the city.
Surprisingly, the tenders of similar nature were also floated last year. Later, it had come to the light that more than Rs 1 crore were siphoned off by some of the officials, while no action was taken against anyone.
In November last year, HT through its five-part series had extensively highlighted how the MC's public health department made fabricated payments worth Rs 1 crore to agencies to create artificial tenders, while quotations for works were never executed.
Even MC chief engineer Mukesh Anand had assured to seek a report from the department, but till date, no such report has been made public.
Speaking to HT, Anand said, "I haven't received any report from the department yet. We will send a reminder to them. In case, they fail to do, a disciplinary action will be taken against erring officials."
Last year, HT had found that after the civic body floated tenders for cleaning up road gullies and manholes. Most of the places were not cleaned, though payments were made to the contractor concerned.
Surprisingly the allotment letters for the works - copies of which are in possession of HT - carried no details of the location of the allotted work.
The nominated councillors say, "It's a sheer wastage of the public money. Once the contract is allotted, no officer checks whether the work has been properly executed or not."
Talking about the tender scam, they added, "It is a surprise that no action has been taken till now, which itself speaks about the nexus between officials and the contractor. Most of these works come under the non-plan head, and aren't approved by any committee. And the result is - no check on the works, and contractors in connivance of officers make most of the situation."
In the budget this year, the MC has proposed Rs 6 crore for storm water drainage. But if we look at the MC's track record of the past few years, it has not been very good. The majority of road gullies in southern sectors are blocked.
According to a senior official of the MC, there are around 30,000 road gullies in the city, and not even half of them are cleaned. However, the contractors concerned are paid full amount without even checking the work.