Non-compliance to invite action under Section 188 RPC
JAMMU, July 28: Taking serious note of abandoning of work on three roads under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) in mountainous Doda district, the administration has initiated proceedings under Code of Criminal Procedure against two private contractors with the direction to immediately start work or be ready to face action under Section 188 of Ranbir Penal Code (RPC) whereby imprisonment can also be awarded for disobedience of the order.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that Chief Engineer PMGSY J&K vide order dated May 2, 2017 allotted construction and maintenance of road from Drodhu to Gutassa under Phase-X to a private contractor namely Harish Gupta, a resident of Housing Colony Udhampur as per the contract specifying certain conditions.
As per the conditions of the agreement, the contractor was supposed to complete the work on the road by May 17, 2018. However, the District Development Commissioner Doda Simrandeep Singh has been informed by the Executive Engineer Doda that contractor has completed only 5% work so far and most of the work for Stage-II (laying of pavement layers etc) has yet not been started, sources informed.
Similarly, vide order dated June 16, 2017, the Chief Engineer PMGSY J&K had allotted construction and maintenance of Seeri to Chatra road to the same contractor and as per the contract agreement the work was required to be completed by July 1, 2018.
On this road also, the contractor has completed only 5% work so far and work on Stage-II is nowhere in sight.
Taking serious note of this, the District Magistrate Doda Simrandeep Singh has initiated proceedings under Section 133 of J&K Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) against the contractor Harish Gupta by issuing conditional order.
“It has been brought to my notice that you have completely stopped work on Drodhu to Gutassa and Seeri to Chatra road for the last few months and the delay in execution and slow pace of work has generated massive public outcry in the local area and people fear failure of the projects on account of cost escalations”, read the conditional order of the District Magistrate.
Stating that delay caused by the contractor on important roads has become a public nuisance, the District Magistrate while exercising powers under Section 133 of CrPC has directed the contractor to immediately start the work on the roads on war footing by engaging additional resources and achieve the contract requirements within shortest possible timelines or appear before him on August 10, 2018 to show cause as to why the conditional order may not be made absolute.
It has also been made clear to the contractor that failure on his part to ensure compliance of the conditional order will lead to prosecution under Section 188 of the Ranbir Penal Code, which states that disobedience to order duly promulgated by the District Magistrate would invite action which includes imprisonment up to six months and fine or with both.
The proceedings under Section 133 CrPC have also been initiated against another private contractor namely Joy Kokhar, a resident of Christian Colony, who was allotted the construction and maintenance of Malothi to Dugli road under Phase-VIII by the Chief Engineer PMGSY vide order dated November 3, 2017.
As per the contract agreement, the work was supposed to be completed by August 17, 2018 but the Executive Engineer Doda has informed the District Magistrate that only 5% work has been completed so far and most of the work for Stage-II has yet not been started, sources said, adding the contractor has even completely stopped work for the last five months.
He has also been asked to immediately start work on the road or be ready to face action under Section 188 of Ranbir Penal Code.