THE GERMANY-MANUFACTURED pruning machine which the local Municipal Corporation had bought for a whopping Rs 1.80 crore has come under the scanner of internal vigilance branch of the local bodies department. A team of internal vigilance checked documents in this regard at the MC office in Sector 68 on Wednesday.
Sources in MC said that the team came after questions were raised over the purchase of the machine. The machine was said to be the costliest used by MCs in Tricity and it was specially purchased from Germany. The machine took around six months to arrive in the city. The machine is yet to be assembled by the company.
“The internal vigilance team led by a senior officer, Sudeep Manak, visited the MC office on Wednesday and checked all the documents. The officers asked questions about the purchase of the machine and the records of payments made to the company concerned,” an officer told Chandigarh Newsline requesting anonymity.
The officer said that the MC decided to purchase the machine last year, following which a resolution was passed in the MC House meeting in February 2016. After passing the resolution, the MC gave the contract to a Delhi-based private company, Cosmic Healer Private Limited, to purchase the machine.
The high price of the machine always remained at the centre of controversy. Some councillors raised this issue many times in the House meetings saying that pruning should be done by the MC gardeners. But the officials went ahead and purchased it. The MC had also made an advance payment of Rs 90 lakh to the company for buying the machine. The remaining payment is yet to be made and the company had also refused to assemble the machine due to the non-payment.
Confirming the development, Deputy Mayor Manjeet Singh Sethi told Chandigarh Newsline that the team came on Wednesday but he was not present at the time of the raid. He, however, welcomed a fair inquiry. “If there is any irregularity, it should come out in the open. We will also demand action against the officers who had made the payments. Now as the inquiry has started, it is not good for me to make any comment. Let the inquiry be completed first,” he added.