JE flags redundant quality control in Chandigarh MC’s road division

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Updated on Sep 04, 2019 12:51 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | ByVivek Gupta, Chandigarh

A junior engineer’s (JE’s) letter to the municipal commissioner has brought to the fore the redundancy of the quality control system in the civic body’s road division.

The JE, Suresh Chand, who works in the quality control branch, said new roads are being constructed in the city without asking the branch to get samples from the construction site, let alone getting the material tested on whether it meets the required engineering specifications. 

Saying that he had no work to do, Chand has sought transfer to some other branch. 

Former engineers raise concern

“It is surprising that the quality control branch is not working,” said former MC chief engineer VK Bhardwaj, adding that during his tenure, the branch was fully functional.

“An executive engineer-level officer headed the branch then and ensured that samples were quality tested so that private contractors did not deviate from the tender norms. MC must ensure proper quality check on civil works,” he said.

Former UT chief engineer Krishanjeet Singh said, “If the MC is not able to carry out internal testing, they must hire a private agency for it, but bypassing the system may give private contractors a free hand, and cause loss to public exchequer.”   

1.5 CR EQUIPMENT LYING UNUSED

Every year, the MC spends 50 crore on building new roads, but the material testing equipment, bought at 1.5 crore, was never put to use. Among them are two mobile testing machines for testing the samples right at the construction site. 

Congress councillor Satish Kainth said, “It is sad that there is nobody in the MC to take care of public money. There are several roads that washed away in a short span, but there was never any inquiry into it.”

“There has to be a CBI inquiry into why the equipment was not used, and whether there was a mala fide intention of some officers to give a free hand to private contractors,” he said. 

MC TO ROPE IN AGENCY

A senior MC official, seeking anonymity, said MC commissioner KK Yadav had already held a meeting with Punjab Engineering College (PEC) and National Institute of Technical Teachers Training and Research (NTTTR) in Sector 26 to permanently audit MC’s civil works so that it is not dependent on internal staff for quality control.

The official said the MC will soon sign an MoU with either agency.

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Wednesday, December 01, 2021