Airport Road in bad shape: VB recommends action against 7 Greater Mohali development body officials
The poor construction of Airport Road in Mohali has caused a loss of ₹9 crore to the state exchequer.
The stretch in question is 6.1-km-long Proposed Road-9 from Airport Chowk to the Banur-Landran road.
The vigilance bureau (VB) inquiry report, which was submitted to the chief administrator of Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) recently, stated that the then seven officials concerned are responsible for loss to government exchequer, as their role has been found to be “negligent and unprofessional while supervising” the project.
The VB has asked GMADA to take departmental action against the erring officials, who include the then chief engineer, superintending engineer, executive engineer, subdivisional officer and subordinates, who were responsible for floating tenders, monitoring and executing the project.
Sarvjeet Singh, principal secretary, housing, Punjab, said: “I have already directed the officer concerned to study the role of erring officials, so that suitable action can be taken as per law. I have asked the engineering wing to repair the road and funds can be used from the stopped payment to the contractor.”
Singh said on getting the details of the officials and their role, a chargesheet will be issued against them.
GMADA had allotted the contract of the 6.1km stretch to Haryana-based Kundu Construction Company in 2013 at a cost of ₹92.5 crore. The project was completed in 2015, but within six months the road developed potholes.
The road was constructed during the tenure of the then GMADA chief engineer SP Singh, aka Pehalwan, who was later nabbed by the VB on allegations of large-scale corruption.
The report says that GMADA officers, who were monitoring and supervising the project, failed in their duty, causing a huge loss to the exchequer. However, the report is silent on the role of the contractor.
According to the report, the contractor used 13% less bitumen and 3.25% less gravel. Resultantly, the road peeled off within six months with major cavities and troughs on the stretch. GMADA had to close the road for six months.
This prompted the vigilance inquiry.
The samples of the road were verified by technical teams of the vigilance bureau and experts of the Central Road Research Institute. Despite repeated repairs and closures of the road, it is still in a bad shape. It has raised serious concerns on the capability of the GMADA engineering wing and other sister agencies, the report said.