As many as 30 important files of different wings of Ludhiana municipal corporation have been untraceable at the MC headquarters, pointing towards alleged collusion of certain civic body officials and private contractors allocated different projects in the city.
Surprisingly, the MC has so far preferred not to get an FIR registered pertaining to these missing files even when rules provide for the same.
Even as details of missing files could not be known, MC commissioner Rakesh Kumar Verma told HT that their number was 30. “I am aware of the missing files and have directed officials traced them as soon as possible,” he said.
Most files pertain to developmental works in different areas, worth around Rs. 50 lakh each, carried out in 2009 and 2010 apart from some in 2011. The files were lying with junior MC officials when they went missing.
Surprisingly, a Junior Engineer put before the commissioner a bill for work pertaining to one of the missing files a few days ago. However, Verma asked the official to first produce the relevant file.
The commissioner has since asked MC officials to properly handle files related to developmental works.
“It could be the case that officials misplaced these files to benefit contractors in different projects. Misappropriation of funds can be done and fake bills produced if MC has no official record of the works executed,” said a senior MC official not authorised to talk to the media.
This is not the first time that files have gone missing. It has by now become a ritual in the civic body that important files of developmental works become untraceable, leading to huge losses to the MC.
“The MC has suffered losses running into lakhs of rupees due to the casual attitude of its officials who do not keep a tab on the movement of files in the corporation office. Most files go missing at the lower level, without higher-ups coming to know about it,” MC sources revealed.