Gurdaspur: Local Congress MLA, Barindermeet Singh Pahra has reportedly complained to Chief Minister Capt.Amarinder Singh, Director of the Vigilance Bureau and the Chief Secretary, alleging that there was some serious bungling in projects which were connected with PWD (B&R) in his constituency. He also alleged that “despite complaints filed against the contractor with the higher officials of the department, some local officials in connivance with political masters, made payment to him (contractor).”
Demanding inquiry into the construction of bridge at Babbehali village on Upper Beri Doab Canal (UBDC), the MLA alleged that the bridge was “approved under political pressure” although, it was not required.
“Total cost of project was around Rs1.9 crore. Throwing all norms to wind, the department made a payment of Rs 1.5 crore to the contractor even though just 15 per cent of the construction was complete yet,” he alleged.
Giving another example of the misuse of official power by the district officials of the PWD, he said that a school was constructed in Gurdaspur. “The project cost is Rs 25 crore. The project which was supposed to be completed eight months back was still uncompleted. While just 70 per cent work has been done, 95 per cent of the payment has been released to the contractor,” he said.
“More shockingly, the security deposit, which is to be returned only after the completion of work has been released to the contractor”, he added.
Showing a copy of report prepared by the project director after the physical verification of the meritorious school, Pahra told that even the project director in his report on February 21 clearly stated that the construction was delayed by more than 8 months. He even raised a question mark on the quality of construction and attitude of the contractor towards the various shortcomings and recommended to invoke “risk and cost” clause against the contractor if he fails to complete the construction by May 15. He also recommended that all further payments to the contractor be stopped and he should be penalised.
When contacted, Superintendent Engineer B S Tulli, said that an inquiry had already been initiated into the meritorious school project. However, he showed ignorance about the huge payments made to the contractor.