Problems of former chief engineer of Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA), S P Singh, who was arrested by Vigilance Bureau (VB), may further increase as delay and escalation in cost in the construction of Purab Premium Apartments — the first housing project of GMADA — have come under the scanner of senior officials of GMADA. The payment of Rs 55 crore made to the company which was constructing the apartments despite the objections during S P Singh’s tenure has also raised the eyebrows of the senior GMADA officials.
According to GMADA sources, a meeting of the senior GMADA officials, including Additional Chief Administrator (Finance and Accounts), was held on January 16 this year in which it was highlighted that objections were raised on delay in construction by M/s Simplex Infrastructure, the company which was given the contract to construct 1,620 apartments.
It was also discussed in the meeting that when the issue of delays was raised again and again, the chief engineer must conduct a thorough probe into the matter but instead of making any decision, an amount of Rs 55 crore was paid to the company between March 2016 and October 2016. Coincidentally, the time period of payment falls during S P Singh’s tenure as chief engineer.
GMADA sources also said that actually cost of the construction of the apartments was Rs 715 crore and as per the rules, if the contractor delays the construction work then they have to pay the extra cost but interestingly the cost of Purab Premium Apartments rose to more than Rs750 crore.
“Instead of imposing the penalty on the company, the officials extended the time limits which escalate the cost of the project,” an official told Chandigarh Newsline, adding that the time period of the completion of project was extended till May 31 this year but work was still incomplete. GMADA Chief Administrator Ravi Bhagat was not available for comment.
VB is already probing the alleged financial bungling committed during the tenure of S P Singh. He along with his accomplices Gurmej Singh and Mohit Kumar are in police custody till June 15.