Security chinks in PUDA website: GMADA planning auction through another portal - Hindustan Times
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Security chinks in PUDA website: GMADA planning auction through another portal

By, Mohali
Feb 17, 2024 09:04 AM IST

The NIC report had highlighted that while security audits of government websites are to be carried out every year, PUDA’s website, which hosts e-auctions of properties worth crores, had not had one since 2017

Over three months after the National Informatics Centre (NIC) flagged security concerns with regard to the official website of the Punjab Urban planning and Development Authority (PUDA), the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) is planning to hold the e-auction of 49 properties through a different portal.

The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) is planning to hold the e-auction of 49 properties through a different portal. (HT File Photo)
The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) is planning to hold the e-auction of 49 properties through a different portal. (HT File Photo)

The NIC report had highlighted that while security audits of government websites are to be carried out every year, PUDA’s website, which hosts e-auctions of properties worth crores, had not had one since 2017.

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Following NIC’s report, on October 25, 2023, Punjab chief secretary Anurag Verma had shot off a strongly worded letter to the officers of the state housing and urban department, and directed them to take corrective measures.

Consequently, GMADA’s e-auction of 49 properties, planned in October, was postponed. The properties include group housing, schools and commercial sites, besides SCOs/SCFs and booths, located in different sectors of Mohali.

Apart from those of GMADA, the PUDA website “https://www.puda.gov.in/” had also been hosting the e-auctions of the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA), the Patiala Development Authority (PDA), the Jalandhar Development Authority (JDA) and the Amritsar Development Authority (ADA).

Back then, the chief secretary-cum-administrative secretary, housing and urban development, Punjab, had stated that it shall be the personal responsibility of the officers concerned to ensure that all e-auctions of GMADA and other housing and urban development authorities are conducted only on a platform/system certified to be fully secure by NIC as well as the department of governance reforms.

Speaking about corrective measures taken since, PUDA chief administrator Apneet Riat said, “We have decided to hold the e-auction through the website of Railtel Corporation of India that has been conducting auctions of various government departments.”

“We are planning the auction this month only, but have not decided the date yet. But we are hoping to auction the properties before the model code of conduct for Lok Sabha elections is imposed,” said Punjab chief secretary Anurag Verma.

In the last auction held in March 2023, the first since January 2022, GMADA had earned a record 1,935.8 crore from the sale of 47 properties, including six group housing sites located in different parts of Mohali.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Hillary Victor is a Special Correspondent at Chandigarh. He covers Chandigarh administration, municipal corporation and all political parties.

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