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ACB Jammu files FIR against PWD officials, contractor for abusing official position

ACB Jammu files FIR against PWD officials, contractor for abusing official position
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Srinagar, May 8: The Anti-Corruption Bureau Jammu has registered a case against officers of Public Works Department Jammu and a contractor for abusing official position and violating codal formalities in inviting tenders for road construction work.

In a statement issued here, a spokesperson said that the case was registered on the outcome of a verification conducted by ACB on the basis of complaint alleging that a contractor Avikash Choudhary in league with concerned engineers of PWD Division-III Jammu and others manipulated to get the contract of upgradation of road from Lohri Chak to Chakrali via Sohagini in block Marh under NABARD by putting the lowest rates for the allotment of the contract.

The statement reads that on ground all clauses of the tender were violated and work has not been executed, thereby causing loss to government exchequer.

It reads that the verification conducted revealed that while executing the work of execution of road, an item was not kept in DPR whereas base course was advertised  to facilitate the  contractor in getting allotment of contract.

“The officials prepared the advertised rate list by incorporating base course which was not kept in DPR.  It surfaced during the course of verification that the contractor quoted the rate of Rs 4.30/sqm for Bitumious Macadam (BM) against advertised rate of Rs 430/sqm and Rs 0.50/kg for reinforcement of RCC work against Rs.60/kg.”

It added that the rates quoted by the contractor were abnormally low and unworkable. “The contractor did not execute these abnormally low rate items whose allotted amount was Rs 82,775/- against advertised amount of Rs. 82,77,500/-. It surfaced from the advertised rates that the rate quoted for 25mm OGPC (Open Graded Premix Carpet) was Rs. 270/sqm and for 50mm Bituminous Macadam was Rs. 430/sqm, but the rate quoted by contractor as well as in the allotment is Rs 4.30/sqm for 50mm Bituminous Macadam (BM) and Rs. 275/sqm for 25 mm OGPC.”

The statement reads that the concerned officials namely Bikram Singh then Executive Engineer and Gurcharan Singh, then AEE in league with contractor helped in releasing the performance security/additional security deposit kept for unbalanced bid which was supposed to be  released after successful completion  of work. 

“It further surfaced during the course of verification that then Executive Engineer, and then AEE too recommended for post facto sanction for an additional cost of Rs. 86,88,925/- against the original allotment of Rs. 1,82,89,075/-. Subsequently then Chief Engineer issued the post facto allotment/approval for already executed excess work amounting  Rs. 86,88,925/- by violating codal formalities, rather than inviting tender for the same.”

It reads that the discrepancies in light of rate, excess quantity and other violation of allotment/agreement even were not highlighted by then Head Draftsman Sundesh Kumar Kotwal and Sumer Singh as well as Draftsman Shiv Darshan Singh Jamwal & Atul Sharma.

“The concerned officials, by abuse of their official positions and in league with beneficiary contractor, conferred undue pecuniary benefit upon him just for their ulterior motives. Further investigation of the case is going on,” it reads—(KNO)

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