IN ANOTHER major development pertaining the controversial financial dealings in Kolar Augmentation Scheme’s phase-II, the Directorate of Urban Administration and Development has sought clarifications on several grounds from the Bhopal Municipal Corporation.
According to information, the June 14 letter of the Directorate to the BMC seeks clarifications on 18 points. Sources said that BMC administration also issued letters to four officials to get the answers of these queries.
The questions asked in the letter may create trouble for some officials, who managed to get away from the Lokayukta inquiry.
The Lokayukta had recommended departmental inquiry against only three officials including then BMC commissioner Vinay Nigam, senior auditor of Resident Audit Department B L Shaharwar and Executive Engineer (PHE) Sanjay Andhwan.
It is learnt that the Directorate of Urban Administration Department has sought information regarding the posting of officials in the implementation cell of Kolar-II project, pending payments of contractors and the status of bank guarantee of the contractors. The department asked about a dozen questions concerning the status of bank guarantee of the contractors.
When asked, the BMC City Engineer (Water Works Department), V K Mishra told the Hindustan Times that the department has summoned some information related to Kolar. He, however, declined to give details contained in the letter.
The scheme was first conceived in the year 1999 with the preparation of detailed project report. The implementation of the scheme was started in the same year by getting a loan from the Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO).
The execution was stopped in year 2000 pleading that the implementation was started without preparing the project.
Though it was revived a year later, the work on ground could not be started till year 2003. The implementation of the scheme was again stopped in December 2003. Later on, the Rs 111-crore scheme was revived again in March 2004 with a revised cost of Rs 50 crore. The cost was again revived in the same month to Rs 66-crore.
Surprisingly, the cost was revised without preparing any detailed project report or the technical approval. The State Government given approval of the revised scheme within two days on a three-page report prepared by the BMC engineers. Besides, the BMC authorities prepared the running bills of the contractors in August 2004 despite the fact that some major works were already removed from this project.
In such case, the contractors allotted the works removed from the revised project should have made final payments. Moreover, the security deposit and the mobilisation amount were also not curtailed from the payment of running bills. There also Lokayukta found some irregularities in releasing the bank guarantee.