MCG: Outsourced engineers barred from accessing project details
Amid complaints and ongoing investigations into discrepancies in various civic projects, the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) on Sunday disallowed outsourced junior engineers from accessing measurement books, based on which payments are made to contractors.
A measurement book contains the records of the construction materials used, type of work, the daily or weekly expenditure for road projects, sewerage, stormwater, streetlights and parks, among other such civic amenities. Details are filled regularly and updated in the book, which is MCG’s primary source of project details.
MCG officials said that the digital IDs of all 29 outsourced junior engineers (JEs) have been deleted and they no longer have access to the measurement book.
The development comes just a week after the MCG initiated a vigilance wing investigation against 15 MCG officials and a contractor based on a complaint filed by the senior deputy mayor. A contractor was allegedly paid twice for laying a new drainage line, setting up manholes, and building roads in Palam Vihar.
“There have been discrepancies recently found in the details of several measurement books due to which higher payments have been made to contractors. As there is a possibility that the outsourced JEs may have colluded with the contractors, it was decided to remove the former from the process so that there is less scope for alterations in measurements books,” a senior MCG official of the engineering wing said, requesting anonymity.
Various discrepancies have surfaced over the past two years, wherein the MCG contractors were paid a part, or the full project amount despite work not starting on the ground or when it was at a nascent stage. As per the Haryana Municipal Corporation Act, 1994, the MCG can pay the final project sum to a contractor only after the work is completed.
In December last year, the charge of an MCG’s executive engineer (XEN) was withdrawn with immediate effect after it was found that he had sanctioned payment of the entire project cost to a contractor for re-carperting roads in Ward 34 even before the work was started.
Similarly, a contractor was allegedly paid a quarter of the total project cost in September last year for laying pavement tiles in Ward 25, despite only 10% of work being completed on-ground.
In February last year, a contractor received full payment for constructing a two-kilometre road in Ward 1 even before construction work had started.
“Due to discovery of a high number of discrepancies in engineering projects, it was decided that outsourced JEs can no longer have access to measurement books. Only permanent JEs and subdivision officers (SDOs) can access it from henceforth,” a second senior MCG official said.