Punjab to have independent auditors to assess development projects

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Jan 06, 2016 20:06 IST
PUDA begins the construction of a wall at phase 1 of urban estate in Patiala. (Bharat Bhushan/HT Photo)

The Punjab government will appoint independent third-party auditors for assessment of various development and infrastructure projects being executed under the Optimum Utilisation of Vacant Government Lands (OUVGL) scheme.

Chief secretary (CS) Sarvesh Kaushal announced this after reviewing the progress of various development and infrastructure projects in the empowered committee of the OUVGL scheme.

The government had formulated the scheme in 1997 under which vacant, unencumbered and surplus lands of various government departments were transferred to Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA). PUDA was declared the nodal agency for commercial exploitation of such lands.

While reviewing the status of construction of jails in Bathinda, Muktsar and Amritsar, the CS asked the public works department (PWD) to complete the construction in two weeks and hand these over to the department of jails. These three jails are being constructed at a cost of Rs 443 crore.

While reviewing the progress of construction of the excise and taxation department office in Jalandhar at a cost of Rs 8.21 crore and buildings in Gandhi Vaneeta Ashram in Jalandhar at a cost of Rs 22.52 crore, the CS directed all departments to deliver the projects on time to avoid cost overruns.

The new projects approved by the empowered committee to be undertaken in the scheme included the construction of a special saanjh kendra in Patiala, development works in Tarn Taran district at a cost of Rs 3 crore, construction of a police station in Tarn Taran at a cost of Rs 2 crore, and construction of a meritorious school in Gurdaspur at a cost of Rs 13.43 crore. While reviewing the construction of the PWD guesthouses, the CS asked the PWD to improve the maintenance of the existing guesthouses.

Other important decisions taken at the meeting included transfer of 2.16 acres of land to the Punjab Building and other Construction Welfare Board for construction of a skill development centre, and disbursement of funds for construction of a building of C-type (Centre for training and employment of Punjab youth) at a cost of Rs 7.64 crore.

He directed PUDA to appoint third-party auditors for monitoring the quality of completed and ongoing works.

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