No action against engineers despite indictment by inquiry panel

Serious irregularities in execution of works by Town Drainage Div

Accused holding prime posts even after facing ACB FIR

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, May 18: Unbelievable it may sound but it is a fact that Government has failed to take action against engineers who have been indicted for serious irregularities in the execution of works by the Town Drainage Division Jammu. Moreover, they are holding the prime posts even after being booked by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) for using sub-standard material in the construction of a nullah and conferring undue benefit upon a contractor.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that in the month of December last year the then Financial Commissioner Housing and Urban Development Department received complaints from different quarters alleging large scale illegalities by the engineers posted in the Town Drainage Division Jammu.
Acting on the complaints, the then Financial Commissioner constituted an inquiry committee headed by Director Finance, Housing and Urban Development Department to enquire into the allegations of serious irregularities in execution of different works noticed during the tenure of Rajesh Gupta, the then Executive Engineer Town Drainage Division Jammu.
The committee comprised of Additional Secretary to Government, Housing and Urban Development Department, Deputy Director, Urban Local Bodies, Jammu and Assistant Accounts Officer was asked to submit its report with specific recommendations for necessary action by the Government.
The committee after detailed examination of documents relating to works in question submitted its report to the Administrative Secretary of the Housing and Urban Development Department with the mention that codal formalities were completely ignored during the execution of such works, sources disclosed.
Moreover, the committee has submitted that works were got executed even without obtaining approval from the competent authority for reasons best known to the concerned engineers particularly the then Executive Engineer Town Drainage Division Jammu Rajesh Gupta, which amounts to gross irregularities, sources further informed.
However, even after being indicted by the inquiry committee no action was taken against the accused engineers and one more committee headed by Joint Commissioner Works in Jammu Municipal Corporation was constituted few days back to verify the status and quality of the works on ground, they said while disclosing this committee has yet not started its exercise as such no time-frame can be specified for completion of task.
During the pendency of the inquiry by a committee of officers, the then Executive Engineer of Town Drainage Division was transferred by the Government and posted as Executive Engineer Irrigation and Flood Control Division Udhampur, which is considered as an important post. One more engineer was also shifted from the Town Drainage Division to another important post while as another is still continuing there.
All the accused engineers are holding the important posts even after registration of FIR against them by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on April 10, 2019 for use of sub-standard material in construction of Kutan Nullah in Thathri area of Doda district and conferring undue benefit upon a contractor.
The case under FIR No.3/2019 under Section 5(1)(d) read with 5(2) Prevention of Corruption Act and Section 120-B RPC has been registered against Rajesh Gupta, the then Executive Engineer, Town Drainage Division Jammu, Subash Chander, the then Assistant Executive Engineer Town Drainage Division Jammu, Kuldeep Koul, Junior Engineer and contractor namely Mansoor of Thathri.
The FIR was registered on the basis of a Joint Surprise Check (JSC) conducted into the allegations pertaining to use of substandard material in the construction of concrete bund at Kutan Nallah Thathri and excess payment drawn for removing the debris accumulated in the Nallah due to flash flood in the month of July 2017.
During the JSC, it came to the fore that as per the agreement, the contractor was under obligation to use Tar Steel of “SAIL”/ “TATA” brand but during the spot inspection and testing from Material Testing Laboratory, DIQC, it was found that the Tar Steel actually used was of local brand i.e “Satyam” & “Jhelum” which is cheaper by about Rs 700 per quintal as such quality/ specifications were compromised for pecuniary benefits.
It was also noticed during JSC that compressive strength of RCC work of Nallah was of average against the minimum compressive strength, which clearly showed execution of poor quality of work, substandard and under specification.