In a rare instance, the municipal corporation’s junior engineer Vijay Kumar has imposed 10% penalty (about Rs 60,000 on a bill of Rs 6 lakh) on a private contractor for delay in the execution of road works in Ablowal village and sent the file for approval to the higher authorities.
The penalty was on contractor Sudhir Kumar, who justified the delay saying that the construction got delayed due to a dispute over the location of road gullies. “I have submitted my justification along with the councillor’s letter. Hopefully, it will be waived,” he said.
The matter of imposing fine has gained significance since most of the contractors, who were awarded 144 road works in March and April, had not met the deadline for the completion of their works. After the penalty, many in the MC are in favour of penalising other contractors for inordinate delay in the execution of works.
The works are being funded under the state urban renewal mission monitored by the deputy commissioner (DC).
DC Ramvir Singh said that notices are being issued to all the contractors whose work is still pending. “Needful action will be taken against the contractors as per the contract agreement,” he said.
Sources said that the deadline for completion of the works, as per the agreement between the contractor and the MC, was for two months.
But five months have passed, but just 50% of the works have been completed so far and the rest are still in progress.
Sources in the department said that out of 144 works, 101 works were related to road construction with interlocking tiles, which could have been easily completed within the time schedule, barring a few works where sewerage work was pending. However, the contractors took their own time in completing the work. The bitumen laying work also started in October, whereas it was supposed to be completed before June.
Superintending engineer Harkiran Pal said that the bills raised by the JE have not reached his office so far. The MC will take action as per the law, he said. Meanwhile, the ongoing road work in the Bank Colony exposes the MC’s pace of development works. Two weeks on, it could not lay interlocking tiles despite laying the premix about a week ago.
Area resident NP Singh said that it was surprising to see how the contractor moved at snail’s pace in completing a road in the colony.
“In a report submitted by MC to the state government, the said road work was shown as completed, but the situation is different on the ground,” he said.