Two days after municipal corporation (MC) decided to take action against seven engineers of the public health wing for causing a loss of Rs 4.5 crore to the public exchequer, it has now come to fore that the loss resulted due to serious irregularities in the tender process for the operation and maintenance of Sewerage Treatment Plant (STP), Diggian, SAS Nagar.
Even though the tender was already allotted to Pune-based private firm Thermax and Panchkula-based agency M/s HL Handa, for maintaining the plant since 2007-08 for 10 years, the executive engineer of MC’s public health wing division number 4 invited 10 tenders of Rs 2.4 lakh each in 2011 for providing, dosing and making of dewatering polychrome for centrifuge shed at the STP.
Questions are being raised why the official floated fresh tenders instead of supplying material to the already-hired agencies.
As per records, each tender floated in 2011 was for 1,050 kg at the rate of Rs 234 per kg.
BJP councillor Satinder Singh said in case the material was to be supplied by the MC, why was it purchased in bulk and issued to agencies, maintaining the STP.
He further questioned, “Why weren’t tenders floated to buy chemicals in bulk, instead of repeatedly purchasing chemicals through new tenders, in violation of the rules. This is a serious issue, and a thorough inquiry is required for all tenders invited for the maintenance of the STP since 2010 onwards.”
Nominated councillor Surinder Bahga said, “It is strange that even the superintending engineer of public health wing, who called for the record in respect of tenders in September 2012, did not notice the violation. Accountability of senior officers should also be fixed.”
On November 21, HT had highlighted that the public health department provided undue favour to the tune of Rs 75 lakh per year to these two agencies.
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, secure the premises, supply chemicals and reagents, and maintain the dry beds, but surprisingly, tenders were floated for same works by the MC engineers causing a loss of Rs 4.5 crore in the past five years.