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4 PWD officials, contractor indicted for poor roadwork in Mohali

Shockingly, the department has not taken cognisance of the quality control report and therefore no action has been taken against the erring officials.

punjab Updated: Mar 01, 2018 11:07 IST
Vishal Rambani
Vishal Rambani
Hindustan Times, Patiala
PWD,roadwork in Mohali,officials
(Representative Image)

The quality control cell of the public works department (building and roads) has indicted four department officials and a private contractor for carrying out poor quality roadwork at Kharar in Mohali district.

Also, the cell has recommended recovery of Rs 1 crore from the private contractor Visesh Kumar and sought action against executive engineer Yuvraj Bindra, sub-divisional officer (SDO) Jaspreet Singh Dhindsa, junior engineers (JEs) Sharanjit Singh Mavi and Munish Bansal.

Shockingly, the department has not taken cognisance of the quality control report and therefore no action has been taken against the erring officials.

As per the official data procured under the Right to Information (RTI) by Feedback India, an NGO, the bitumen density on the Boothgarh-Manakpur Sharif road (upgrade and widening) in Kharar that cost ₹3.62 crore was found to be nearly 20 per cent less than the prescribed norms.

After examining the samples of material used, the quality control cell has recommended rejection of the roadwork. This means that no payment will be made for the work and it will have to be carried out at the contractor’s expense

Chief engineer (quality control) Mukesh Kumar Goyal has recommended that the contractor, Visesh Kumar, should be blacklisted for two years from getting department’s works as poor quality roadwork has resulted in loss of ₹1.01 crore to the department.

On the basis of the report, the PWD deputy secretary has written to the chief engineer (headquarters) to blacklist the contractor, get the repair work done at his expense besides issuing a chargesheet with provision of strict punishment against executive engineer Bindra, SDO Dhindsa and the two JEs.

Though the department got the roadwork rectified at the contractor’s expense (by not releasing his payment) it didn’t send the chargesheet to authorities in an apparent bid to save the four erring officials.

Questions have also been raised on the way the quality control cell has made the calculations to approve some works, whereas they were well short of the basis quality norms.

“It’s just a tip of the scam. The roadwork at Bangian Arnauli, Chotta Samana Kainpur, Baari Paarch, Nada, Nayagaon on the stretch leading to Chandigarh is also of poor quality. In some samples it was found that bitumen was 18 to 20 per cent less. But the department cleared the work by calculating average of bitumen used. Thus many patches of roads are already worn out. It’s a multi-crore scandal and needs to be probed,” said VK Sharma of Feedback India.

When contacted, executive engineer Yuvraj Bindra said after the quality control report, correctional measures have been taken and the work has been completed. The recovery will be made from contractor while finalising the bill, he saidadding that he is not aware whether the department has written for chargesheeting him and other employees.

Chief engineer Jaswinder Mann could not be contacted for comments.

First Published: Mar 01, 2018 11:07 IST