Taking strong note of alleged large-scale corruption in construction of roads by Public Works Department (PWD) in his home district of Etawah,Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav directed Minister of State for PWD Surendra Patel and engineer-in-chief Chitra Swaroop to carry out a probe into all road projects undertaken during his 15-month regime.
Patel and Swaroop have already visited Etawah and collected files related to the projects while also taking samples of materials used in the construction of roads.
Akhileshs uncle Shivpal Yadav holds the PWD portfolio. The roads have been constructed with poor quality materials. Those re-laid in November last year are dotted with potholes. Most of those re-laid during 2011-12 are also in a shambles now. The issue is serious as Etawah is a VIP district where such poor work has been done, Patel stated.
He also informed that large-scale theft of bitumen has happened during construction of roads. Bitumen is supplied to contractors by the PWD. Records related to bitumen,too,have been sent to the PWDs Lucknow office for inquiry. As bitumen used was of poor quality,the roads could not withstand even the first showers. It is a shameful thing happening in CMs home district, Patel said.
He also said that the engineers who were behind the sub-standard work will be punished and recoveries will be made from their pockets.
Nearly all the roads in Etawah were relaid after the Samajwadi Party (SP) assumed power in the state. Roads constructed in nearby Auraiyya district are also done through PWD unit in Etawah. At present,four divisions of PWD function in Etawah?Construction Division (CD),CD-II,CD-III and Provincial Division (PD). All these four units had a turnover of nearly Rs 200 crore in the past 15 months.
CM Akhilesh Yadav who had visited his native village Saifai in Etawah on June 23 was apprised of the poor condition of the roads in the district by the locals. Taking the matter seriously,Akhilesh summoned Executive Engineer,PWD,R K Singh and asked him about the quality of work in Etawah.
It is reported that nearly 200 tenders for construction of roads were distributed without notification. Swaroop,however,denies the charges. We have a set procedure for allotting tenders. Proper notification is done and all norms were followed. I dont see any irregularity in the tendering process, she said.
Swaroop,however, admitted that the quality of work in Etawah was sub-standard. We had sent the samples for laboratory tests and quality control. The report is likely to reach us tonight. At the first instance,the quality of work is poor and we will take action for this, she stated.