The accounts section of district health department is not able to locate crucial records pertaining to grants and expenses received in Jalandhar.
An inquiry has been initiated and chief medical officer (CMO) Dr Rajiv Bhalla has called up on the earlier district account officer Sanjeev Kumar, in the civil surgeon’s office here. Kumar has been facing a vigilance probe into the purchase of different items including electronic equipments. Kumar was transferred to Fazilka district in August this year. Since Kumar’s transfer, there has been no permanent head in accounts wing. The health department is managing with assistants’ employees who are worried about the ‘missing records’ and conveyed the same to CMO Bhalla.
“Sanjeev Kumar was overseeing grants and expanses independently,” said sources.
“Even district level program officer had to request him to issue funds allocated by government to meet the expenses incurred on celebrating any day, travelling allowances, holding seminar or rally in past,” said sources. “These powers have been decentralized now and each district program officer is now a signing authority and can withdraw money with CMO’s signatures. Earlier there were no separate accounts for each programme but presently accounts have been differentiated,” said sources. “The employees digging up into the records are finding it tough to trace the records,” said sources.
“We have called Kumar many times but he is yet to turn up here,” said CMO. “It is just the initial stage and things will get clear in the coming days,” he added.
It is pertinent to mention here that a vigilance probe was initiated in February this year after the director general of police (DGP, vigilance) received complaint regarding irregularities in purchase by civil surgeon’s office. The vigilance sleuths have failed to complete the probe within a mandatory period of three months.
The bureau questioned former civil surgeon Dr RL Bassan on March 22. It also recorded statements of nine members who were part of the then purchasing committees including, former district health officer Dr Jasbir Singh, district family and welfare officer Dr Gurmeet Kaur, then assistant civil surgeons Dr BS Multani, Dr M Bali and Dr Tarsem Singh, Jandiala senior medical officer Dr Varinder, medical officer Dr Surinder Kumar, epidemiologist Dr Satish Kumar, DAO Sanjeev Kumar, purchase clerk Raj Pal and others. The probe was shifted to Hoshiarpur VB in the wake of representations made to department’s higher officials in Chandigarh in May.