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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

Vigilance smells rat in Machhiwara sewerage line project

Arjun Sharma, Hindustan Times  Machhiwara, November 12, 2013
First Published: 19:53 IST(12/11/2013) | Last Updated: 19:55 IST(12/11/2013)

The vigilance department has initiated a probe into the alleged scam in the laying of sewerage line in Machhiwara.

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A tender of Rs. 22 crore was floated in 2010 for laying of sewerage line and setting up of a sewage treatment plant (STP) in Machhiwara. However, the contractor, allegedly in collusion with the officials of sewerage board, did not complete the work.

Officials of vigilance bureau visited Machhiwara on Tuesday and took samples of the material used in the sewerage line. The officials found that there was no concrete bed laid beneath the sewerage line, thus
there was a gross discrepancy on the part of the contractor.

Interestingly, the contractor had been released the full amount for the work in advance. The work had been stopped without the construction of the STP and, also, the sewerage line had not been laid in several areas.

Deputy superintendent of police, vigilance, Ludhiana range, Vikramjit Singh, who took the samples, said that after complaints were received regarding discrepancies in laying of the sewerage line in Machhiwara, an inquiry has been marked and samples would be sent to Chandigarh for examination.

“The truth would come to the fore once the inquiry is complete. Those responsible for discrepancies, if any, would be taken to task,” said Singh.

Inspector Sukhdev Singh of vigilance bureau who accompanied Singh to Machhiwara on Tuesday said that a JCB was being used for digging to take samples of material used in the work.

Sewerage board officials present on the spot did not divulge any details and were shying away from talking to the media.

Sources said that lack of concrete base beneath the sewerage line could lead to leakage. “It has been noted in almost all areas where the line was laid that no concrete was laid, thus raising a question on the working of sewerage board officials, who were supposed to inspect the work,” sources said.

How uncomfortable officials of the water and sewerage board are, is evident from the fact that when HT called board's superintending engineer Arvind Kumar Mahajan, he was not ready to talk. “I have no knowledge about anything,” he said, and disconnected the phone.

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