Rs 1 cr spent to clean 1-km stretch,MC officials under scannerhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ludhiana/rs-1-cr-spent-to-clean-1km-stretch-mc-officials-under-scanner/

Rs 1 cr spent to clean 1-km stretch,MC officials under scanner

In 2004,the Municipal Corporation had spent Rs 1 crore to clean a one-kilometre of the Buddha Nallah.

In 2004,the Municipal Corporation had spent Rs 1 crore to clean a one-kilometre of the Buddha Nallah. The area chosen was the Tajpur Road near the dyeing factory of former Congress MLA Surinder Dawar. Interestingly,only one patch was chosen by the then Finance and Contract Committee leaving the upstream and downstream choked.

The Chief Vigilance department of Local Bodies has re-opened the file and hence has chargesheeted more than 10 employees of the Municipal Corporation and sewerage Board department.

The ones who have come under the scanner include former Superintending Engineer(SE) Sewerage Board R S Cheema, the then SE Operation and Maintenance Cell (O&M) Subash Dua and Executive engineer A K Gupta among others.

The decision to clean the patch was taken by a 5-member committee formed by the then MC Commissioner S K Sharma. Sources said the patch was chocked completely and due to poisonous fumes,no sewerman was ready to go inside the manholes to clean it. Sources confirmed that due to the presence of dying factories in the vicinity emanating poisonous fumes,manual cleanliness was not possible.

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The MC authorities hence had to hire a Delhi-based company to clean the patch which charged Rs 1 crore.

This area however was thoroughly cleaned but the upstream and downstream areas left choked and hence the very purpose of the cleanliness project was defeated.

The Chief Vigilance department hence has asked the officers the reason for choosing a little patch and also the details of the payments done.

A.K Gupta,one of the chargesheeted officer,said,”The special committee had told us to get the area cleaned. The Operation and Maintenance Cell had chalked out a plan of 5000-km cleanliness drive. The other areas were also cleaned but only for this patch,private services were hired and the remaining cleanliness was done by our own teams. This area could not be cleaned manually. I will mention all the details in the reply to the chargesheet.”

The sewerage board officials,who have also received explanation letters,said they had been targeted as they had nothing to do with cleaning projects.