Chandigarh Housing Board CEO bought household items without approval: Reporthttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/chandigarh-housing-board-ceo-bought-household-items-without-approval-report/

Chandigarh Housing Board CEO bought household items without approval: Report

The board has asked the officer to submit a reply within seven days.

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Office of Chandigarh Housing Board in Sector 9 of Chandigarh. (Express file photo)

An inquiry report revealed that the CEO of Chandigarh Housing Board himself approved purchase of expensive household items for his camp office from the CHB funds without seeking approval from the chairman or the board.

The report was probing the alleged irregular expenditure incurred by the chief executive officer of Chandigarh Housing Board on his camp office. The report, which was tabled in the board meeting on Thursday, revealed that CEO S B Deepak Kumar had spent Rs 22.94 lakh from the CHB funds on his residence.

The report reads: “No camp office had been approved at the Sector 16 residence of the CEO. Despite that, the CEO approved and sanctioned the purchase of household items from the best available outlets in the city without bothering about the prices at which they were being purchased. Had he not acted in haste, and had the purchases been duly approved, he could have found the same items at reasonable prices by inviting tenders/ quotations.”

According to the secretary’s report, the CEO on May 4, 2015, approved Rs 71,094 for the purchase of Masai arm chair, Williams side table, Lyon End table, Balineo Patio swing and others. A Geneva poster bed, night stand and tall dresser were purchased for 92,295. About
Rs 5 lakh was spent on furniture that was bought for his residence.

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“Curtains worth Rs 1.5 lakh, mattresses worth Rs 34,834, standford set worth Rs 81,000 and bathroom fittings worth 64,260 and glass partition in toilets worth Rs 85,530 which were installed at the CEO’s residence can in no way be termed as basic necessities. The Chandigarh Housing Board has been made to pay even for small requirements like Rs 6,900 for Tata Sky connection, Rs 1,800 for an electric iron, Rs 2,500 for an Airtel 4G internet connection and others,” reads report.

The CEO on various dates sanctioned huge amounts for purchase of electrical items including, Sony LED for Rs 1.44 lakh, five air conditioners worth Rs 2.32 lakh and unnecessary items like fancy lights for Rs 44,793. Besides other items, Rs 1.03 lakh (Rs 73,161 + Rs 30,301) was spent on his residence for alterations in the electrical works in and landscaping at CEO’s residence.

The CEO sanctioned huge amounts for the various civil works such as display panels worth Rs 48,402, false wooden ceiling at the cost of Rs 40,660, awning at Rs 1.16 lakh.

Cabinet worth Rs 37,024 and wallpapers at Rs 66,262 were installed at his residence. A hut was also constructed at his residence at Rs 1.27 lakh.

Thereby, a total of Rs 10.47 lakh was incurred on civil works after the approval was accorded by the CEO himself.

The inquiry report revealed that various amounts were sanctioned on one single day by the CEO even when the items sought to be purchased/work sought to be done were not of an urgent nature.

The board decided to give seven-days time to the CEO to give his comments on the report. The matter will be put up in the next board meeting scheduled to be held on February 5. The members have decided that the details should be obtained regarding the officer whose approvals had been taken for incurring the expenditure at the residence of CEO and officers who had passed the bills and signed the cheques so that a report on the matter may be placed before the next board meeting.