MCG initiates probe into double payment for contracted works in Palam Vihar
The Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) has initiated a probe into a double payment made to a contractor for drainage and road works in Palam Vihar. The MCG’s vigilance wing issued a show-cause notice to at least 16 MCG officials and the contractor concerned, seeking an explanation on the matter, officials said on Monday.
Senior MCG officials said that although the contractor has returned the additional payment, the matter continues to be under probe.
The issue of double payment was initially raised by senior deputy mayor Pramila Kablana, who is the councillor of Ward 9, where the work was undertaken. The contractor was selected in November 2018 for laying a new drainage line, setting up manholes, and building roads in Palam Vihar.
After the project was completed, Kablana issued a work-satisfactory certificate to the contractor, based on which payment of ₹47 lakh was done by the MCG, officials said.
“Just two months after the payment was made, the same contractor was paid ₹44 lakh by the MCG upon presenting the November 2018 work order. I was alerted about the issue and accordingly, informed senior MCG officials about the same, based on which a probe has been initiated. The MCG needs to ensure the additional payment is recovered and action is taken against the violators,” Kablana said.
As per the MCG rules, payment to contractors for localised projects can be sanctioned only after the area councillor issues a work-satisfactory certificate, which essentially indicates that the work has been completed and that required standards have been met.
A senior MCG official, requesting anonymity, said, “Such a situation (of double payment) has never occurred in MCG’s history. There is a strong possibility that the MCG officials may have simply been negligent and sanctioned the project cost for a second time inadvertently. However, we are not ruling out the possibility of the contractor and few MCG officials being mixed up, and hence, have asked all the officials concerned for an explanation.”
The official said that almost all the 16 MCG officials issued show-cause notices are from the engineering wing.
MCG’s chief engineer, TL Sharma, could not be reached for comment.
“If the replies of the contractor and MCG officials are deemed to be unsatisfactory, then the MCG will immediately blacklist the contractor while a copy of the matter would be sent to the directorate of urban local bodies (ULB) for suspending, terminating, or transferring the officials concerned,” a second MCG official said.