In a case of gross violation of the Departmental Financial Rules (DFR) of the UT administration and misuse of power, two executive engineers of the public health wing floated tenders worth Rs 7 crore under the non-plan head from October 2011 to July 2012. Doubts are being raised now on whether the amount has been actually spent or not.
The matter came to light when the municipal corporation refused to furnish the details of the tenders received from various divisions of the public health wing under the Right To Information Act.
Investigations carried out by the Hindustan Times reveal that executive engineers of division number 1 and 4 of the public health wing, Harinder Singh and Gurpreet Singh, respectively, floated tenders amounting to nearly Rs 7 crore without having any powers under DFR.
While Harinder Singh floated 110 tenders for various works of maintenance under the non-plan head amounting to nearly Rs 2 crore, Gurpreet Singh floated 250 tenders for Rs 5 crore.
As per the DFR, under the non-plan head, the financial powers of an executive engineer are limited to Rs 1 lakh, while a superintending engineer has the power to float tenders above Rs 1 lakh to 4 lakh.
In the above-said cases, all 360 tenders invited by the two executive engineers pertained to amount varying from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh in each case, which is a gross financial violation. A copy of tender documents is in the possession of HT.
They floated the said tenders without getting the detailed notice inviting tender (DNIT) from the SE, for which they were not competent.
This has been done despite of the instructions of superintending engineer of public health wing, Ramesh Chander Diwan issued last year to all the executive engineers to follow the DFR, failing which they will be solely responsible.
Municipal corporation chief engineer SS Bidda admitted that an executive engineer cannot float a tender above Rs 1 lakh under the non-plan head. “In case it has been done, I will mark an inquiry into it as it is a serious matter,” he said.
The act of both the executive engineers of not following the instructions of the SE tantamount to great misconduct on their part.
Most of the expenditure, as per MC record, has been incurred on the maintenance of pumping machinery at various water works in the city in division number 1, whereas in division number 4, the maximum expenditure has been incurred on maintenance of Sewerage Treatment Plant (STP) and also on maintenance of road gullies in the city.
Maintaining that it is a serious financial irregularity, mayor Raj Bala Malik said, “The executive engineers have floated tenders beyond their financial powers and it is gross misuse of official position. We will look into the matter,” she said.
SAD-BJP councillor Malkait Singh said it has put a question mark on the working of the civic body and the officers are under scanner that whether they have spent the huge amount or not. “We will demand a vigilance inquiry into it.”