SVO files case against LAWDA officials

Greater Kashmir

Funds Misappropriation

Srinagar, June 22: The State Vigilance Organization today registered a case against several officers of Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) for alleged misappropriation of Rs 35.04 lakh in the construction of Gabion Check dams in Dal Lake.
In an official handout, VO said they registered the case against the then Divisional Forest Officers Me’raj-ud-Din Shah and M A Chisti, junior Engineer Waqar Ahmad and other officials of Watershed Management Division of LAWDA for alleged misappropriation of funds in a Joint Surprise Check. The statement said that under a well-knit conspiracy the officers misused their official positions and misappropriated lakhs of rupees in the construction of Dams which were erected in the shape of stone beds covered with crate wire for treatment of Sang Reshi Nallah at Khimber Takya Srinagar to protect Dal Lake.
The SVO said ten works were shown executed by different contractors at a cost of Rs 109.97 lakhs during the financial year 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09. It said, “For these ten works an amount of Rs. 35.04 lakh was shown spent on the carriage of stones from Athawajan quarry and Wussan Nallah to the construction site viz. Nallah Sang Reshi. While as no stone was found to have been used and transported from the said places to the site,” adding that instead the available stones at the site were utilized in the construction of the Check Dams. Vigilance said the estimates of some of the important engineering works had been prepared by the Forester who was a non-technical official.
Vigilance statement said the Joint Surprise Check conducted had also revealed that a large quantity of the crate wires shown utilized already existed in the dams. “The gauge of two crate wires used was entirely different in size, shape and specification,” it said, adding the earth work shown executed in these dams was also found at variance with the records maintained by the department.
Vigilance said the payment of existing works including works executed in the past had also been drawn and paid to the contractors.