Award exemplary punishment to corrupt ex-ministers, Babus: Harsh

Excelsior Correspondent
RAMNAGAR, July 22: Alleging large scale omissions and commissions and massive irregularities committed in Public Works Department during the erstwhile PDP – BJP regime, NPP chairman and former minister Harsh Dev Singh called for stern punitive action against the defaulting former ministers and bureaucrats in the State.
He said that allotment of works without tenders to blue eyed contractors worth hundreds of crores in R&B and JKPCC had completely eroded the credibility of the Govt with the helmsmen fully conniving in process. Not only were the codal provisions violated with impunity but huge advance payments had been made under the pretext of ‘mobilization advance’ to `cherry – picked’ fake contractors who abandoned the works after availing of huge grants in the form of said advances.
Addressing public meeting in Ramnagar area today Singh regretted that releases of huge funds as advance payments to selected contractors had been made at the cost of genuine contractors who remained unpaid for past 2-3 years despite completion of assigned works. Likewise, issuance of supply orders worth hundreds of crores to handpicked suppliers without issuance of tenders had cost the state dearly and needed due cognizance of vigilante organizations.
Seeking stern action against the then PWD Minister and senior officers of the department for all fraudulent deeds and illegal contracts, Singh called for clearance of work done liabilities of all bonafide contractors who were deprived of their genuine claims for the last 2-3 years. He said that the small contractors who had borrowed funds for execution of works were the worst sufferers. Neither were they able to repay their loans nor the wages of poor labourers thus forcing them to starvation, lamented Singh. He said with noose already having been tightened against the then PWD Minister and some senior bureaucrats by Crime Branch, there should be no concession with anyone howsoever, high or mighty.
“Rather exemplary punishment needed to be given to those at the top so that it served as a deterrent for others”, added Singh.
Expressing grave concern over the extremely shabby condition of various roads in rural areas of Ramnagar constituency, Singh sought a white paper over the total funds released for the constituency during the past 5 years for repairs and maintenance of these roads.