Construction of aviary in protected area of Sukhna Lake questioned

Chandigarh, July 28

Environmentalist Rahul Mahajan and NGO My Tree Foundation today raised question over the allotment of tender for the construction of a bird aviary in the protected area of Sukhna Lake.

Mahajan, along with Prem Garg, the founder of My Tree Foundation, alleged that the Audit Department had raised questions over Rs 3.38 crore expenditure on the under-construction project.

Forest Department refutes allegations

The apprehension raised here is completely baseless, imaginary and with ulterior motive. All procedures have been duly followed for the execution of this work, said Debendra Dalai, Chief Conservator of Forest. The nature-loving citizens of Chandigarh will appreciate this project of walk-through aviary, he added.

Under the General Finance Rule 2017, to initiate any construction, the department has to sign a contract agreement with the agency hired for construction services, the duo added.

“Despite these rules, on January 10, 2020, the Forest Department initiated an e-tender for fabrication work of the bird aviary and did not sign any agreement with the agency before allotting Rs 3.38 crore for the project on March 2, 2020,” they alleged.

Refuting the allegations, Chief Conservator of Forest Debendra Dalai said, “The apprehension raised here is completely baseless, imaginary and with ulterior motive. All procedures have been duly followed for the execution of this work. The nature loving citizens of Chandigarh will appreciate this project of walk through aviary.”

“The observation raised by audit had been taken care and there was no loss to the government,” he added.— TNS

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