Works first, tenders later; new rule in SMC

The extent to which imagination could go in making a fun of established rules , procedures and probity could be actually seen having brazenly taken place in Srinagar Municipal Corporation in that only after as many as 50 different works were “fully executed” than tenders were floated to do the rituals of formality and make payments. Again, this having been done in 2019 , till date neither the Mayor on whose directions these irregularities were committed has been formally booked by the Anti Corruption Bureau nor any Regular Departmental Action (RDA) having been taken against against Executive Engineer , Srinagar Municipal Corporation who was instrumental in actually executing the sham plan of “floating ” tenders. The Executive Engineer is instead posted in a more important department like J&K Housing Board as Executive Engineer. Why such a blatant disregard of set and established rules and procedures could take place and what was the motive is never any hard to comprehend. To create room for favouritism, corrupt practices and generatingcorruption , rules are broken and they have been broken in SMC with impunity . Public funds cannot be allowed to be treated as some one’s fief.
If Anti CorruptionBureau (ACB) has any relevance and purpose to function andit is often boasted about its autonomy in functioning , then a question , very pertinent , arises. That is when the ACB feels satisfied and convinced through its sources and collecting information that a prima-facia fraud and acts of corruption have taken place and it recommends and suggests to institute Regular Departmental Action , why such recommendations are not accepted and acted upon? Even if a whiff about any corrupt practice having taken place is got from anywhere, the administration is supposed to swing into prompt action . Only then message, loud and clear , can go around that there was zero tolerance to corruption otherwise not.
How can the Mayor allot 50 works to different contractors in Srinagar worth crores of Rupees without floating tenders , screening them and deciding on them as per procedures and instead doing a formality about them only when payments are made by floating tenders “to legalise ” the works in the scheme of things of the Mayor himself? We ask the UT administration as to what action has been taken on the professional recommendation of the ACB to constitute a fact finding committee to fix responsibility .Otherwise also, constituting committees, inside probes, and the like are only time consuming exercises bearing no fruits , at least , instantaneously which otherwise should be the case in issues of corruption and frauds. We are afraid, a mismatch between rhetoric of zero tolerance to corruption and taking no action or adopting protracted means and methods towards action against the accused only made corruption a de-facto practice without which perhaps the ”wheels” of files in the offices do not move. We have reports that SMC has become a den of corruption.
It is shocking that public funds should be accorded such a treatment once the same reached into the hands of the people’s elected functionaries like the Mayor in the instant case who otherwise should have used extreme discretion, care and meticulous adherence to accepted procedures and other norms which ensured the funds remained properly utilized for the welfare of the people. Without going into the nitty -gritty of the entire case, we urge the concerned authorities to immediately institute an enquiry so as to take action against the Executive Engineer and the Mayor to set an example that corrupt and irregular practices would not be tolerated .