Panchkula roundabout scam: 14 civic body officials face the musichttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/panchkula-roundabout-scam-14-civic-body-officials-face-the-music-5586779/

Panchkula roundabout scam: 14 civic body officials face the music

A probe committee found serious financial and procedural irregularities in the beautification work. The report mentioned that the project had caused over Rs 1.25 crore-worth loss to the MC.

Panchkula roundabout scam: 14 civic body officials face the music
A newly designed roundabout in Panchkula. (Express)

From draftsman to junior engineer, executive engineer to accounts officers, in all, as many as 14 officials of Municipal Corporation (MC) Panchkula have faced the music for allegedly causing a loss of Rs 1.25 crore in the roundabout scam.

After Chandigarh Newsline highlighted various irregularities in the roundabout-beautification work, Urban Local Bodies Minister Kavita Jain had ordered a probe.

The committee found serious financial and procedural irregularities in the beautification work. The report mentioned that the project had caused over Rs 1.25 crore-worth loss to the MC.

After the dismissal of municipal engineer M S Dhariwal and junior engineer Bhupesh Kumar earlier, Panchkula Municipal Commissioner Rajesh Jogpal has dismissed the services of four more officials – head draftsman Devinder Kumar and three supervisors.

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Those who were meant to carry out inspection – Junior Engineers Kashi Ram, Rajesh Chauhan and Harjeet Kumar have been recommended to be chargesheeted against.

Panchkula roundabout scam: 14 civic body officials face the music
The highest amount, Rs 50 lakh each, is being spent on Sectors 5,6,7,8 and Sectors 4,5,10,11 roundabouts. (Express photo by Jaipal Singh/File)

It has also been recommended that Executive Engineer L C Chauhan, who had raised the issue of defective and poor quality material being used in the roundabouts, and Superintending Engineer T L Chauhan be chargsheeted under urban local bodies rule 7.

Apart from these, senior

officer and joint director, audit, have also been issued a showcause notice as to why action may not be taken against them. It was stated that the two moved the file to release the payment of Rs 1.93 crore to contractor without proper verification. At the same time, the architect, who had initially prepared a detailed notice inviting tenders, has also been issued a showcause as to why he may not be blacklisted.

Sources said that the process to impose recovery on Sakumbari engineering works, which carried out the work of eight roundabouts, has also been initiated.

Chandigarh Newsline had highlighted how same item with same specification to be installed at the roundabouts given to same contractor was given on exorbitant rates even when norms of Haryana Schedule of Rates specified lower prices.

Later, Executive Engineer L C Chauhan had said that poor quality and defective material was being used in the roundabout beautification work, but even then a payment of Rs 1.93 crore was released to the contractor.

The work of beautification of eight roundabouts was given to one contractor for Rs 2.84 crore.