The state government has constituted another two-member panel to conduct an inquiry into the Panchkula roundabout-beautification work even as the technical advisor of Haryana urban local bodies department has concluded his report finding serious financial irregularities in it. Technical Advisor Vishal Seth told Chandigarh Newsline he had already compiled his report. “But, I have got written orders on January 17 that two officers will be conducting the inquiry again. One is Chief Engineer from Karnal, Raman Sharma, and another Superintending Engineer (SE), Karnal, Ramji Lal.”
When asked if he had submitted the report, Seth said initially, the urban local bodies minister was busy. “But, before I could submit my report, on 17th of this month, I got the orders about the other two members. I have called them and they are likely to visit tomorrow (Wednesday).” Sources said that the two members will come to Chandigarh to Seth’s office to inspect the records again. They will also look into Seth’s fact-finding report.
Chandigarh Newsline tried to contact the Haryana Urban Local Bodies Minister Kavita Jain, but her personal assistant said that she was in a function. On January 4, Jain had ordered the technical advisor to probe into the matter. He had compiled the report on January 13 and found that Panchkula Municipal Corporation had caused a loss of Rs 1.25 crore by giving the roundabout beautification work at exorbitant rates.
Sources said that initially an SE from Ambala was asked to be part of the two-member committee, but he refused to do so and later the one from Karnal was asked to be its member. Eight roundabouts are being revamped across Panchkula by M/s Sakumbari Engineering Works at a cost of Rs 2.84 crore.
Chandigarh Newsline had highlighted serious financial irregularities in the roundabout-beautification project currently underway in Panchkula. Findings of the report, accessed by Chandigarh Newsline, published on January 15, revealed that items under Haryana Schedule of Rates (HSR) were misinterpreted and converted into non-schedule ones and bought at exorbitant prices. While buying different items under a tender, government departments have to follow the HSR. When those items are not specified under HSR, they are taken at non-schedule rates.