Chandigarh, August 9, 2017: The Punjab Vigilance Bureau has unearthed a scam in Gurdaspur district regarding construction of a bridge on Uppar Bari Doab Canal (UBDC) and registered a criminal case against PWD officers including a contractor who was paid almost entire indenture amount by the accused officers whereas construction work on the proposed bridge was done only one fourth to its completion.
Disclosing this here today Mr B.K. Uppal, ADGP-cum-Chief Director, Vigilance Bureau, Punjab said the state government had allotted a work of construction of bridge on UBDC near Babbehali, Gurdaspur through e-tendering amounting to Rs. 1,69,69,699 on July 15, 2015 to Sanjiv Gupta of M/s Balaji Builders, Batala which was to be completed within six months.
He informed that an amount of Rs. 56,47,841 was initially released to the construction firm as a part payment on the basis of first Measurement Book (MB) No. 2410/291. During the checking conducted by the technical team of Vigilance Bureau, it was found that the concerned engineers had paid excess amount of Rs. 7,50,805/- was paid to the contractor than the actual work done.
He further informed that Parminder Singh Tiwana, who was having the charge of SE, Pathankot at that time, transferred supervision of this work to Xen Batala, the charge of which was also with him. He had it was found during the probe that Kamaljit Singh, JE, working under SE Tiwana, prepared another MB No. 2489/340 and released Rs 1,07,10,948 to the construction firm, said Mr Uppal.
The vigilance chief said the accused PWD officers had paid almost the entire amount of Rs. 1,63,58,789/- to Balaji Builders showing completion of construction of bridge but actually construction of piers (pillars) work below the canal water level only completed, which in terms of cost is approximately to the tune of Rs. 48,97,036/-. The probe of technical team of vigilance bureau has disclosed that the accused in connivance with each other and contractor and by abusing their official positions have caused pecuniary loss to the tune of Rs. 1,14,61,753/- to the state exchequer and caused same amount of pecuniary advantage to the contractor, he added.
Mr B.K.Uppal said as the public made complaints on the issue the accused SE Tiwana and JE Kamaljit Singh prepared another MB No. 2454/335 to hush up the commotion and prepared bills of the same amount (Rs. 1,07,10,948) for construction of Meritorious School, at Gurdaspur another work which is being executed by the same contractor, as this amount was earlier released to the contractor for construction of bridge. Vigilance team have also found that the said funds were meant only for the construction of Babbehali bridge and not for the school which further throws light on the suspicious modus oprandi of these Engineers.
He informed that Vigilance Bureau has registered a case under Sections 409, 420, 467, 468, 471, 201, 120-B of IPC and Section 13 (1)(d) read with 13(2) of Prevention of Corruption Act at PS VB Amritsar and investigation was under progress to explore the possible involvement of others including accounts officers, he said.