Departments seek funds for ‘fictitious’ works
Probe Reveals Flood Damages Fabricated To Draw Crores From Government Kitty
Srinagar, Apr 3: In what could turn out to be a major scam, the officials of Jammu and Kashmir Government have fraudulently shown liabilities worth crores of rupees on account of restoration of works damaged by the floods in the Valley. What could be more shocking, the internal report reveals that in many cases where the claims of restoration were made, no damages had taken place actually.
Greater Kashmir is in possession of the documents, which reveal that officials of the Public Health Engineering (PHE), Roads & Buildings (R&B), Irrigation and Flood Control (I&FC) and other departments have shown liabilities worth crores of rupees against restoration of “flood-damaged” infrastructure without actually having executed any such works. Not only this, the report points out that in many cases, where the utilization certificates were submitted for the release of money from National Calamities Relief Fund (NCRF), the infrastructure did not suffer any damage during the floods.
It has been reliably learnt that Deputy Commissioner Kupwara had, on the recommendation of the executing agencies, submitted a list of the restoration works, which he stated suffered damages in floods of July 28 and 29 in 2010.
“Kindly refer minutes of the State Executive Committee Meeting held under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary J&K State on 18th of July 2011 issued under endorsement NO: REV/ER/41/2010 Dated: 9-7-2011 regarding the subject cited above. In this connection, the sector-wise/scheme-wise utilization of funds received under CRF for undertaking relief/ rescue measures alongwith utilization certificate and latest work done is enclosed with the request to kindly release Rs 1126.74 lakh under CRF for finalization of the work-done claims of the concerned executing agencies,” the letter from DDC Kupwara says.
However, following complaints of irregularities in the repair works, the government ordered an internal inquiry into all such works.
“On-the-spot check of majority of the works, which officials claimed to have undertaken, were not actually executed,” reveals the report.
It states that out of 483 works, cross-check was conducted on 75 works. However, among these, 65 works had not been done.
While in other 10 works, only 10-20 percent restoration work was carried out.
According to the Deputy Commissioner Kupwara’s report, there was liability of Rs 22 lakh against the restoration of damages to Water Supply Scheme Pohrupeth.
But the inquiry report, quoting Sarpanch and locals of Pohrupeth says no restoration work had taken place on the said scheme.
Similarly, Public Health Engineering Department asserted that Rs 9.25 lakh were spent on restoration of the damages of Water Supply Scheme Sanzipora, Lach.
“However, it was reported that minor loss was reported at Nowgam where 30 pipes were damaged and the same were replaced and water supply was restored. It was also reported that the cost of 30 pipes will be approximately Rs 30000,” the inquiry report reveals.
According to the report of DC Kupwara, Rs 9 lakh were spent for restoration of WSS Khurhama Warnow.
“An employee of PHE Department reported that the reservoir of the scheme was damaged but the department didn’t undertake ay restoration work,” the report quoting the Naib Tehsildar and locals of the area says.
While the Roads & Buildings Department claimed utilization of Rs 9.50 lakh for repairing Shatgund-Bala Kalam-Chakala road, but the probe contradicts their claim, saying that “there is no question of restoration as no damages were caused by the floods”.
In similar case, R&B department asserted that they had utilized Rs 3 lakh for repair of Tarina Bridge, but the report quoting locals states that no work was undertaken to restore the bridge for traffic movement.
In WSS Haril, PHE Department says Rs 50000 were spent for restoration, but the report quoting president of Jamia Masjid Haril and locals states that there was no question of repair as the flood did not cause any damage.
The PHE department says Rs 9.60 lakh were spent for repairing of WSS Gangbugh and Sogam. However, there was no loss to these, the report says.
Sources told Greater Kashmir that the inquiry findings were submitted to Chief Secretary asking him to investigate the matter thoroughly. The inquiry had called for stringent action against the officials of DC office Kupwara and Chief Planning Officer Kupwara, who was pursuing the case for release of funds in Divisional Commissioner’s office as well as in the Revenue Department.
The report did not spare DC Kupwara, saying that he has not made any verification of the works before approaching Divisional Commissioner’s office for the release of funds.
However, sources said, the government is sitting over the inquiry report and has not taken action against the officials involved in the scam.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 3 Apr 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 3 Apr 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 4 Apr 2012 00:00:00 IST
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