In yet another controversial move, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB), SB Deepak Kumar has got the nod for Rs 18,000 electricity bill of his unapproved ‘camp office’ to be paid by the board. The board chairman, when asked about it, has said he would order an inquiry. This ‘office’ at his residence in Sector 16 is already under the scanner for expenditure of Rs 40 lakh on high-end TVs and fancy furniture from the board’s coffers.
It has also come to light that an earlier power bill of Rs 34,000 for four months for this ‘camp office’ was also paid by the board. After HT highlighted on December 30 how the IAS officer had wasted taxpayer’s money in lakhs on sprucing up his official residence in the name of camp office, the bill for the next four months, Rs 18,000, was pending.
For that power bill now, while CHB executive engineer (electrical) SP Singh has approved the payment, chairman Maninder Singh, who had earlier taken a tough stance against Deepak’s past deeds, said he was not aware of the matter and would take appropriate action against the officer concerned for approving the amount. He underlined that “as per norms, SB Deepak Kumar should pay the bill since no camp office is approved”.
When contacted, Deepak refused to comment. Officials said that the board can only pay the power bill of officers’ residence, and if it is a camp office then the meter has to be in CHB’s name with approval.