Though then vigilance officer of the municipal corporation, Sarita Malik, is yet to submit a report in connection with serious irregularities at a sewage treatment plant in SAS Nagar, it has been alleged that then executive engineer VK Garg floated repeated tenders in violation of norms, thereby causing a loss of over Rs 3 crore to the civic body.
In November 2014, after MC chief engineer Mukesh Anand had pointed out these irregularities, a vigilance inquiry was marked in March 2015, though the report is still awaited.
Investigations carried out by HT revealed plant officials had been floating the tenders for its maintenance in violation of the norms laid down in the detailed notice inviting tenders (DNIT) since 2011, causing a loss of around Rs 3 crore.
In a written statement submitted to Malik, the officials concerned cited they “didn’t read the DNIT before sending the requisition for the disposal of sludge produced at the plant, for the maintenance its premises, and to take care of its chemical and reagent supply”. As per the rules mentioned in the tender notice, it was clearly stated that “the company running the plant will look after all the aforesaid said works”.
However, when contacted, MC chief engineer Mukesh Anand said, “Once the report will be submitted, a suitable action will be taken against the erring officials.”
Records reveal in one of the tenders pertaining to the disposal of the sludge, Garg had stated that no place was earmarked for the disposal of the sludge. However, it has been found over Rs 20 lakh were floated for the work.
Now the question are being raised that when no area was earmarked for the disposal of the sludge, where was it disposed of. It has also been alleged that the contractor firm, in connivance with plant officials, might have sold the sludge, which can be used as manure. The contract to construct the 30 MGD sewage treatment plant at Diggian was given to a Pune-based company in 2007. Later, the company was asked to run it for the next 10 years after a successful trial for 180 days, which ended on November 27, 2010.