Documents related to transactions worth Rs 4,917 crore have “gone missing” from various departments of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) in the past 40 years, the audit department has found out.
The audit report will be placed before the standing committee and submitted to municipal commissioner Shekhar Singh, department officials said.
“During the 2014-2015 audit, it came to our notice that documents related to deals of Rs 4,917 crore have not been made available to the audit department by various other departments,” corporation chief auditor Pramod Bhosale told The Indian Express on Wednesday.
Bhosale said he would not like to call them missing documents. “We would like to instead say that these documents were not made available to the audit department since 1982, when the PCMC came into being. The auditors who conducted the audit 30-40 years back had mentioned that certain documents related to deals worth some amount had not been made available. Similarly, subsequent auditors also made such remarks when the past documents were not made available to them during audits. The pendency of documents not made available has come to be worth over Rs 4,900 crore,” Bhosale said.
The audit officials said the documents were not made available to them despite repeated reminders to the departments concerned. “Every time an audit was conducted by the audit department, it has sought relevant documents from the civic departments. However, they have failed to provide the documents,” an official said.
Besides, the audit report has also raised objections “to an expenditure of Rs 1,296 crore by various departments”. The report has also said that Rs 119 crore is recoverable. “Recoverable means the civic department concerned will have to recover them from the parties or contractors. This amount cannot be written off,” an audit official said.
As many 44,118 objections were made during the annual audit.
Activist Maruti Bhapkar, on whose intervention over a decade ago the Bombay High Court had censured the corporation for failing to conduct audits, said the “missing” documents raised serious questions. “It could mean that the PCMC had paid the amount for non-existent transactions or deals. This is a very serious audit objection. It means that over the years, many wrong things have happened in the PCMC’s corridors. At least now, the PCMC administration should wake up and take appropriate action,” he said.
Among the departments that have come under the audit department’s scanner are those related to building permissions, health, town planning, gardens, sky sign and public relations.