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CAG objects to construction of more houses for officers despite availability

The CAG report says additional houses for 93 officers, costing Rs 17.17 crore, have been constructed at Bathinda, Pathankot and Amritsar military stations and are lying unutilised

punjab Updated: Jul 23, 2017 10:21 IST
Bhartesh Singh Thakur
Bhartesh Singh Thakur
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
CAG,omptroller and Auditor General,military stations
The CAG report was submitted in Parliament on July 21. (HT File )

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has indicted Bathinda, Pathankot and Amritsar military stations for constructing more dwelling units for officers despite many of the existing lying vacant.

According to the CAG report, which was submitted in Parliament on July 21, additional houses for 93 officers, costing Rs 17.17 crore, have been constructed and are lying unutilised.

At Bathinda military station, 484 dwelling units were available for officers (for the rank of captain and above) prior to the start of Married Accommodation Project (MAP). Under Phase-1 of the project, 341 units were constructed based on the requirement assessed by station authorities by February 2009.

“We observed that even before the additional dwelling units under MAP were constructed, 48 existing quarters for Captains were lying vacant since 2008. Given the continued non-utilisation of 84 quarters for captains (48 old and 36 new), the construction of 42 quarters under MAP at a cost of Rs 5.71 crore was unwarranted,” read the CAG.

At the Mamun military station in Pathankot, 398 units for Captains were allowed even as 174 already existed under Phase-1 of MAP. This despite the fact that 25 of the 174 units were lying vacant as on October 2006, with no waiting list. As of June 2015, 48 units for captains were vacant (nine for more than 10 years and 20 for more than five years). Further, 39 dwelling units had been re-appropriated for other than the married accommodation purposes.

“The construction of 16 additional units for captains at an average contracted cost of Rs 2.29 crore under MAP was not as per the actual requirement of the station,” said the CAG report.

At new Amritsar military station, despite 67 officers houses, 43 of captains and 24 of majors and above, already lying vacant, 35 more were ordered to be constructed in 2009. In 2011, the station headquarters, new Amritsar military station, recommended for cancellation of the contract. “Despite the recommendation of the station commander on June 2011 for the cancellation of their portion of work and the window for the same offered by the cancellation of the contract in March 2013, we found that the requirement of 35 dwelling units, costing Rs 9.17 crore, was again included in the scope of risk and cost contract concluded by director general of the married accommodation project in February 2014. This led provision of surplus accommodation for officers at the station,” read the report.

“On June 2015, we observed that 23 existing dwelling units for major and above were lying vacant at the new Amritsar military station for the last five years and therefore the possibility of usage of additional 35 units being constructed at a cost of Rs 9.17 crore was remote,” said the CAG report.

At the same station, 63 more units for soldiers were constructed than that were authorised.

NO QUALITY CONTROL

CAG also noticed seepage, efflorescence, defective sewage system, damaged transformers, and termite infestation in the units constructed by executing agencies at Amritsar and Bathinda military stations. Garrison engineer of Amritsar had refused to take over the accommodation of 208 units in 2011 due to defects in construction, including leakage. The station headquarters, however, ignored it and allotted the units in November 2011 and February 2012. In 2015, the garrison engineer observed that even sewage system constructed for these units was faulty leading to blockage and overflowing through manholes.

First Published: Jul 23, 2017 10:19 IST