In what seems to be 'round two' of the spat between the union home ministry and the Delhi government, the police have removed the Delhi public works department (PWD) from all its construction projects.
The PWD is currently building projects worth almost Rs 100 crore, including police houses in east Delhi's Mandoli, 24 staff quarters at Malviya Nagar, police station building and 42 staff quarters at Anand Vihar. Most of these projects are either on the verge of completion or are half done.
The police were also in the process to hire the PWD for Rs 300 crore-worth projects.
After the December 16 gang-rape, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had raised the issue of union home ministry not transferring the reins of Delhi Police to the state government.
In what is being seen as retaliation, the ministry has asked the police to stop giving work to the PWD and replacing them from ongoing projects.
"The decision was taken during an evaluation meeting a few weeks ago. The PWD was conveyed the decision in that meeting," said a senior Delhi police officer.
The police have withdrawn eight major projects worth over Rs 100 crore from the PWD.
The PWD has written to the MHA that the move will create legal glitches as contractors might approach court seeking compensation. Sources in the MHA said no such letter has been received.
Sources said apart from the PWD's "slow approach" in completing projects on time, "poor" quality was cited as a reason.
PWD minister Rajkumar Chauhan defended the quality of work and said: "There are no issues related to the quality of construction. PWD has taken up projects worth several hundred crores. If the home ministry wants some other agency to do construction, we have no problem with that."