The municipal corporation (MC) of Ludhiana has served show-cause notices to a number of officials for accepting alleged fraudulent solvency certificates by firms that were allotted tenders for construction of flats for slum-dwellers.
Questions over the nexus between the contractors and the MC were raised by a city resident who had alleged that tenders were allotted without verifying the documents properly.
Solvency certificate is issued by a bank declaring the financial status of a firm. Moreover, while making a financial bid, it is necessary for firms to produce the latest certificate in the name of the agency that is issuing tenders.
According to sources, notices were issued to six officials on Tuesday.
Following a complaint made by resident Kuldeep Singh Khaira, the MC served these notices. Earlier, Khaira had also filed a petition in the Punjab and Haryana high court in 2012, following which the court directed the local bodies department to pass reasoned order. However, when no action was taken by the authorities, he then filed a contempt petition.
The project for construction of 4,500 flats in Dhandari, Giaspura and Mundian under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) was started in 2008.
After getting information under the Right to Information (RTI), Khaira alleged that the work for construction of flats was awarded to different firms without proper verification of credentials of the solvency certificates.
The information obtained under the RTI had revealed that a firm had submitted a photocopy of the solvency certificate of `5 crore that was obtained by it for the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) for other construction work.
Khaira had also raised doubt over the solvency certificates that were submitted by two other firms.
“I recently wrote to the secretary, department of local government, that no action has been taken into the matter as the MC has been directed to fix the responsibility of the officers concerned who have accepted the wrong solvency certificates and take action against the contractors as per law,” he said.
Meanwhile, an MC official claimed that it was a minor matter and there was nothing like any malpractice.
MC’s additional commissioner Ghanshyam Thori said, “Show-cause notices have been issued to the officials concerned, but I will be able to comment only after getting reply from these officials.”