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HindustanTimes Sat,01 Nov 2014

In-house inquiries of civic body head nowhere

Arjun Sharma , Hindustan Times  Ludhiana, November 11, 2013
First Published: 23:53 IST(11/11/2013) | Last Updated: 00:02 IST(12/11/2013)

The in-house inquires of the municipal corporation into corruption or otherwise are an eyewash. Going by the status of some of the ongoing inquires, it is clear that they are aimed at to buy time so that the issue subsides and people forget about it. There is lack of resolve on the part of the authorities, who are not strict enough to ensure that inquires reach their logical end within a stipulated time.

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Hindustan Times picked three 'ongoing' inquiries from among numerous others, which are heading nowhere. 

Inquiry 1

Discrepancies in renovation of planetarium

On April 26, an inquiry was ordered into the alleged discrepancies in renovation of Nehru Planetarium at Rose Garden. The inquiry was marked by mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria to then MC commissioner Rakesh Kumar Verma, who in-turn asked additional commissioner (technical) Dharam Singh to provide all relevant records regarding the construction.

When Dharam Singh provided 'distorted' records of the renovation work in September this year, Verma asked him to re-inquire into the matter and submit proper documents. Since then, nobody knows the status of the probe. Insiders say there was an attempt to save the contractor and some civic body officials who were hand-in-glove in the scam involving Rs. 40 lakh.

Renovation work on the building was completed last year and poor quality of material, that is evident from the cracks that have appeared on walls and glasses, was used in the building. The glasses near the main door of the planetarium are broken.

Another tell-tale sign of a 'wrong' is the cracks appearing on the walls of the washrooms and other areas, pointing towards use of poor quality material.

Inquiry 2

Slapping incident

In the first week of October, an inquiry was marked after the superintendent of tehbazari wing Rajeev Bhardwaj was allegedly slapped by class 4 employees of the MC. The issue had taken a political colour as different outfits took sides of the warring factions.

The inquiry was to be conducted by a three-member committee comprising additional commissioner Devinder Singh, additional commissioner (technical) Dharam Singh and joint commissioner AS Sekhon.

How seriously the probe was taken is evident from the fact that during meetings one or the other member was missing. AS Sekhon said that the statement of Bhardwaj has been recorded and the statement of the fourth class employees who were involved in the incident would be recorded soon.
 
Inquiry 3

Misbehaviour by superior

After a woman staff member at the office of deputy controller finance and accounts (DCFA), who had been sacked from service, on October 8 complained that her superior misbehaved with her, additional commissioner Isha Kalia formed a committee for inquiry.

The complainant's superior said that she didn't know typing hence was not fit for the job. He clarified that her allegation was a lie, aimed at to get her job back.

The committee comprised Kalia herself, superintendent Nirmal Singh, commissioner of zone-A Kamlesh Bansal and the legal adviser of municipal corporation KS Kahlon.

The committee was supposed to complete the inquiry within a week.

Kalia said that all members were not present in the last meeting of the MC as a result another meeting is scheduled on Wednesday. “The statement of the accused would be recorded in the next meeting. The victim wants her job back and I have forwarded her request to the official concerned,” said Kalia.

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