THE MESS related to Kolar Augmentation Scheme II has taken its first official toll, with the Public Health Department suspending its Executive Engineer posted in the BMC for alleged irregularities in releasing the bank guarantee and disbursing the mobilisation amount to the contractors of the scheme. There are indications that many more officials might be involved in the matter and the EE is just the first to be nailed.
Though many officials were allegedly involved in these irregularities, the authorities could take action against only one official so far. Following the State Government order on August 24, the BMC administration also suspended Executive Engineer, Kolar, Sanjay Kumar Andhwan.
Most of these irregularities took place when a State administrative service officer Vinay Nigam was the BMC commissioner. IAS officer Rashmi Arun Shami was the BMC Administrator for a certain duration when these irregularities took place. Shami, now Bhind Collector, was posted as the Administrator after the State Government removed Vibha Patel as mayor. Nigam is now personal secretary of former chief minister Uma Bharti.
Sources in the BMC said that Andhwan had written a letter to a senior official posted in the BMC informing at that time that some of the actions on the files related to Kolar Augmentation Scheme-II could invite trouble later on. But this officer advised him to follow the instructions without any confrontation, the sources added.
Some PHE officials posted in the BMC told the Hindustan Times that what was the use of senior officials if they could not check such irregularities. They said that the action should also be taken against senior officials who also consented for the payments to the contractors without corroborating facts.
Andhwan is charged with the payment of excessive mobilisation amount and lapse of bank guarantee of a contractor worth Rs 2.25 crore. He will be posted at the office of Engineer-in-Chief during the period of suspension.
Jinxed from beginning
THOUGH THE ministers in the State Government including Minister for Urban Administration and Development Jayant Malaiya and Minister for Commerce and Industries Babulal Gaur reiterated many times for providing water from the Kolar Augmentation Scheme-II soon, the work on the scheme could not be started during the past two and half years.
The scheme was approved in the year 1999. But its work could not be started till 2004. The work was stopped same year, that too after the payment to the contractors. The scheme was revised without any technical report in year 2004. Moreover, the Urban Administration and Development Department approved the revised scheme within 24-hours in March 2004, that too without asking any question.