Contractor accused of using substandard tiles on footpaths

  • Harshraj Singh, Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
  • Updated: May 27, 2014 11:08 IST

A city-based RTI activist has accused the contractor, ‘Captain Enterprise’, of using substandard interlocking tiles for construction on footpaths on the sides of Gill Road from Campa Cola Chowk to Sidhwan Canal.

Residents are also unhappy with the contractor, as he failed to complete the work within deadline.

After testing the sealed samples of tiles provided by the Municipal Corporation (MC) to RTI activist Kuldeep Singh Khaira, the Testing and Consultancy Cell of Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College, Ludhiana, found that sample of a 80 mm hexagonal tile was of 32.50 compressive strength MPa, whereas the strength must not be less than 40.00 compressive strength MPa ideally (as per Indian Standard Code No 15658:2006).

Khaira alleged that during installation of interlocking tiles, no arrangement for rain water drainage was made, and as a result of this, the taxpayers’ money paid to the contractor has been wasted in the name of instant development project, as these tiles were not up to mark.

He said, “I had sought the samples of tiles that were being installed on Gill Road from MC. But I got samples of these tiles under RTI Act, only when the matter reached to the state information commission.”

Khaira alleged that the work to install tiles in this road had started around three years ago, and it had to be completed in six months, but only 50 % work had been completed so far by the contractor.

“I wrote a complaint to the secretary of the local bodies department to take action in this regard”, he claimed.

“The officials concerned of the MC should initiate the proceedings to blacklist the contractor for delaying the development works allotted to him. They should also check the pace of all development works for the sake of public funds and inconvenience faced by the public due to delayed projects,” he said.

According to the sources, the same contractor had started work to install tiles in some other wards in 2011, but failed to complete the work in time.

MC executive engineer Karamjeet Singh said, “We can’t accept the testing report, as the samples were given for testing by Khaira on his own.”

“However, we have already sent a file to the mayor and senior officials to blacklist ‘Captain Enterprise’, which had got the contract to install tiles on this road. We were not happy with the work of contractor, as he also failed to meet the deadline.”

Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria said, “We have also found that these interlocking tiles were not of good quality. We will definitely blacklist this contractor.”

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