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Bungling found in Rajghat project

A MAJOR bungling in the Rajghat irrigation project of the Water Resources Department has come into light in which engineers surreptitiously purchased mechanical equipment from an Indore-based firm at a highly inflated price, ignoring objection of the Central Water Commission.

india Updated: Feb 03, 2006 16:01 IST

A MAJOR bungling in the Rajghat irrigation project of the Water Resources Department has come into light in which engineers surreptitiously purchased mechanical equipment from an Indore-based firm at a highly inflated price, ignoring objection of the Central Water Commission.

The higher authorities were kept in complete darkness about purchase of the drum hoists in Rs 10.50 crore against Rs 1.5 crore as recommended by the CWC. The matter has been taken up by former minister and Public Accounts Committee chairman Satyadeo Katare.

He has written a letter to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, requesting an inquiry into the bungling. Principal Secretary WRD, A K Joshi, also told Hindustan Times that he would look into the matter and take action against the officials concerned, if found guilty.

According to sources, Rajghat Canal Project Superintending Engineer M D Sharma placed an order on January 2005 to the Laghu Udyog Nigam, Bhopal, for 27 of the 50 capacity hydraulic hoists valued at Rs 8 crore in place of originally tendered electrically operated rope drum hoists costing only Rs 1.5 crore.

The hoists — hydraulic or rope drum — are mechanisms that operate huge vertical gates fixed on dams to stop or release water.r. The purchase was managed to provide benefit to an Indore- based company. No necessary technical sanction from Chief Engineer, Datia, was obtained.

In fact, the proposal sent by the Water Resources Department to Government of India had been rejected in October 2005 and was duly communicated to the Chief Engineer. Interestingly, the new order was placed without even cancelling the original tender for the rope drum hoist costing Rs 1.5 crore which had been duly approved by the CWC, Delhi.

The multi-crore Rajghat Canal Project is a joint venture being implemented by the Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh Governments.

First Published: Feb 03, 2006 16:01 IST