An inquiry report submitted at the governing body meeting of the Chandigarh Housing Board( CHB) on Thursday established that board’s chief executive officer (CEO) SB Deepak Kumar spent Rs 40 lakh from the board account to buy high-end household items for sprucing up his official residence.
This wastage of taxpayer’s money was highlighted by HT on December 30 last year, following which board chairman Maninder Singh marked an inquiry to CHB secretary Adapa Karthik.
The CEO said his statement had not been taken. The board gave him seven days to file his reply. The money was spent even as the officer is having the additional charge as the CEO of the board. The engineer wing of the CHB spent the amount on CEO’s official residence in Sector 16 showing it as the camp office.
The report reveals that the CEO had, on his own, approved buying expensive household items from the CHB funds for his residence without seeking approval from the board chairman. No camp office had ever been approved at the CEO’s residence, but he approved and sanctioned the purchase of household items from the best available outlets in the city without bothering about the prices. Had he not acted in haste and had the purchases been duly approved, he could have found the same items at reasonable rates by inviting tenders or quotations, the report stated.
The CEO sanctioned huge amounts for the purchase of electrical items. He also released funds for additions/alterations in the electrical works in and around the landscaping at his residence. Even the electricity bills of the CEO’s residence have been paid from the CHB funds, the report states.
The CEO sanctioned huge amounts for civil works at his residence without considering whether such works were required to be carried out, the report said. “For instance, display panels, false wooden ceiling, awning and wallpapers cost the board Rs 23 lakh,” the report revealed.
The board will decide on action against the CEO in the next meeting to be held on February 5. The board members also demanded details of officials who passed the bills and signed cheques for purchase of household items.