The local bodies department has issued a chargesheet against two former executive officers and four officials from the engineering and clerical branch of the Patiala Improvement Trust (PIT) in connection with the malpractices found in the renovation of a parking area at the Narendra Enclave.
The action was taken on the basis of a probe conducted by the department’s internal vigilance wing that, prima facie, found major discrepancies in the execution of the work commissioned in 2014.
Those chargesheeted included executive officer Gurinder Singh Sodhi (posted here in 2014 and now in Rupnagar), executive officer Raj Kumar Kapoor (posted here in 2015 and now in Khanna), executive engineer Narinder Kumar, sub-divisional officer Balwinder Singh, junior engineer Narinder Singh and accountant Khushwant Singh Brar.
The inquiry report stated that the work was tendered at an estimated cost of Rs 32 lakh, but the inferior quality of the material was used during the execution. The thickness of interlocking tiles was compromised, and other civic works of the parking renovation were overlooked.
A part of the contact work was also approved without clearance of proper estimates in violation of the civic body rules. The private contractor was released payment after execution of work.
Confirming the development, the department’s chief vigilance officer AK Kansal said that the chargesheet was issued after their detailed justification in response to the inquiry was not found satisfactory.
Sources in the department said that the department would soon appoint an inquiry officer, a retired bureaucrat or a judge, to probe the charges levelled against them in the chargesheet.
As per the service rules, they may be dismissed from service or be demoted, depending upon the severity of their involvement, once charges are proved to be true.
Not the first time
The PIT has been in the news for other scams also in the past. The most brazen case is about the infamous auction of shops in 2010, where officials sold seven shops but showed six, causing a loss of `50 lakh to the trust.
The trust recently ordered recovery against the buyer –Ascent Education – that bought the shops, but any departmental action is still awaited against the officials concerned.
Former PIT executive officer Gurinder Singh Sodhi and executive engineer Narinder Kumar were found responsible for this in the probe, but a chargesheet against them is still awaited in this case.