Chandigarh roundabout: Architect pegged fountain cost at Rs 6.25 lakh, MC awarded work for Rs 17.5 lakhhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/chandigarh-roundabout-architect-pegged-fountain-cost-at-rs-6-25-lakh-mc-awarded-work-for-rs-17-5-lakh-5595975/

Chandigarh roundabout: Architect pegged fountain cost at Rs 6.25 lakh, MC awarded work for Rs 17.5 lakh

Documents of the estimates prepared by the architect firm revealed that the rates of pebble beds for which the MC awarded Rs 2400 to Rs 2900 per square meter to the contractor, were actually quoted only for Rs 150 per square meter.

Chandigarh roundabout: Architect pegged fountain cost at Rs 6.25 lakh, MC awarded work for Rs 17.5 lakh
Rate of “spike light for trees” of 15W capacity which were awarded for up to Rs 8500 each of the roundabouts was actually quoted for Rs 1994 each by the architect.

The fountain for which the architect had actually quoted only Rs 6.25 lakh in the estimates prepared for the roundabout beautification work, was awarded for Rs 17.50 lakh by the Municipal Corporation, documents accessed by Chandigarh Newsline have found.

M/S architect Yetinder Mathur, who was hired to submit the architectural designs and the estimates and Detailed Notice Inviting tender(DNIT), was served a showcause notice by the MC as to why he may not be blacklisted after the roundabout scam. The architect said that he was bypassed as the rates quoted by him, which were far less, were never considered by the Municipal Corporation.

“At Major Sandeep Shankla roundabout, we quoted Rs 6.25 lakh for the fountain in the estimates, but MC awarded it for Rs 17.50 lakh, which was almost three times high,” Yetinder Mathur told Newsline.

Documents of the estimates prepared by the architect firm revealed that the rates of pebble beds for which the MC awarded Rs 2400 to Rs 2900 per square meter to the contractor, were actually quoted only for Rs 150 per square meter.

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At Geeta Chowk, MC awarded the pebble bed for Rs 2400 per square meter, for Rs 2900 per square meter at 4,5,10,11 roundabout, for Rs 1990 per square meter for the Sandeep Sagar Chowk (Sector 7, 8, 17, 18 roundabout) and for Rs 2500 per square meter for Sector 11,12,12A, 14 roundabout even when the same contractor had to execute it. In the scope of work which was meant to be done by the architect, it specified that he has to supply the DNIT, tender documents, detailed estimates apart from supplying of design for the roundabouts.

Rate of “spike light for trees” of 15W capacity which were awarded for up to Rs 8500 each of the roundabouts was actually quoted for Rs 1994 each by the architect. “But we were not even consulted before awarding items on such exhorbitant rates,” Yetinder Mathur said.

In the showcause notice issued to the firm, it is specified, “As per the scope of work, Clause no 30(1C) of the allotment, preparation of drawings for detailed estimate and tender document with DNIT, was to be prepared and submitted by you; which clearly shows your disinterest and negligence. Moreover, nothing in connection with the deviations in DNIT with the estimate has ever been informed by you.”

However, the architect, Yetinder Mathur, reiterated that despite giving detailed estimates according to the Haryana Schedule of Rates (HSR) which were at much lower rates, the civic body awarded the work on higher rates which they were not even aware of.

“We are being blamed for quoting higher rates but the reality is completely different,” he said.

The architect also stated that in his detailed estimates, he had specified the names and specifications of fully grown trees which were never taken in the DNIT, as prepared by MC on its own. Panchkula Executive Engineer in-charge of the roundabout beautification work, L C Chauhan, said: “DNITs were prepared much before he was given the charge of the Superintending engineer.”

He added: “I have been wrongly framed in this… When these documents came to me rather I wrote comments on every file that vetting be done by AE Electrical and ME Horticulture, but I was told that high-ups have already signed it.”

Earlier, Chandigarh Newsline had highlighted the financial and procedural irregularities in the roundabout beautification work given for Rs 2.84 crore to one contractor. The probe report later found that a loss of Rs 1.25 crore was caused to the government in the scam.