Punjab local bodies cancels Mohali MC’s order of tree pruning machine

Updated on Jun 19, 2020 02:29 AM IST

The local bodies department also blacklisted the company, barring it from participating in any tendering process of the Mohali MC for three years

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Hindustan Times, Mohali | By, Mohali

Acting on the inquiry report of retired additional district and sessions judge BR Bansal, indicting four officials of Mohali municipal corporation for discrepancies in the purchase of a tree pruning machine, the Punjab local bodies department on Thursday terminated the order with M/s Cosmic Healers for the purchase of the machine.

The local bodies department also blacklisted the company, barring it from participating in any tendering process of the Mohali MC for three years.

The department further asked the company to deposit the advance amount of 89 lakh paid by the civic body with 12% annual interest within 21 days from now.

Bansal’s inquiry report found several discrepancies in the tendering process of issuing purchase orders to a particular company for the machines.

The four former MC officials, who were indicted in the report, are executive engineer Naresh Batta, now in Hoshiarpur; deputy controller finance and accounts (DCFA) Vinayak Kumar, now in Ludhiana; assistant corporation engineer Mohinder Pal, now sub-divisional engineer (SDO) posted at the head office of the local bodies department in Sector 35, Chandigarh; and junior engineer Surinder Goel, now retired.

They will appear before the additional chief secretary of local bodies, Sanjay Kumar on June 19, where the further course of action will be decided.

Tenders were floated on September 26, 2016, for Rs 1.80 crore after Mohali MC decided to buy the machine.

Interestingly, the machine was not delivered to the civic body, prompting some councillors to allege corruption in the deal, following which BR Bansal was appointed to investigate the matter.

The cancellation report further reads that the vetting report by chief vigilance officer (trust) opined that the work order was issued by Mohali MC in violation of the rules, and gross irregularities and other serious deficiencies have been found on part of the firm in connivance with MC officials. There is no record with MC proving that proper advertisement or public notice was made and how the company came to know about the requirement of a tree pruning machine.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Hillary Victor is a Principal Correspondent at Chandigarh. He covers Chandigarh administration, municipal corporation and all political parties.

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