Dept cancels Mohali MC’s tree-pruning machine order

4 employees to report before Additional Chief Secy today

Dept cancels Mohali MC’s tree-pruning machine order

The office of the Municipal Corporation in Mohali. File photo

Sanjay Bumbroo

Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 18

The Local Bodies Department of Punjab today terminated the purchase order for a tree-pruning machine placed with a firm by the Mohali MC. The department also indicted four employees of the MC for irregularities in the purchase of the machine.

Exorbitant price

The tree-pruning machine was ordered for Rs1.80 crore in 2017 — Rs25 to Rs30 lakh is the actual cost and Rs80 lakh was the import duty. The vetting report of the department stated that such a machine was available locally for Rs20 lakh.

The department has also blacklisted the company, barring it from participating in any tendering process of the Mohali MC for three years. The firm has been told to deposit the advance amount paid by the MC with 12 per cent annual interest within 21 days from the date of issuance of the order.

The order further reads that the Chief Vigilance Officer (trust), in a vetting report, opined that the work order was issued by the Mohali MC in violation of the rules of the government and that gross irregularities and other deficiencies were found on part of the firm, in connivance with MC officials. The report stated that no advertisement or public notice was issued, then how did the company came to know about the MC’s requirement for a tree-pruning machine?

The tree-pruning machine was ordered for Rs1.80 crore in 2017 — Rs25 to Rs30 lakh is the actual cost and Rs80 lakh was the import duty. The vetting report of the department stated that such a machine was available locally for Rs 20 lakh.

An report on inquiry, conducted by former additional district and sessions judge BR Bansal, has been submitted to the department.

The indicted officers have been directed to report tomorrow before the Additional Chief Secretary, Local Bodies, Punjab, who will decide the action to be taken against the officers. The indicted officers are MC Executive Engineer (XEN) Naresh Batta, presently posted at Hoshiarpur; Deputy Controller (Finance and Accounts), Vinayak Kumar, who is currently posted in Ludhiana; Assistant Corporation Engineer Mohinder Pal Singh, now posted as the sub-divisional engineer at the head office of the Local Bodies Separtment in Sector 35, Chandigarh; and retired Junior Engineer Surinder Goel.

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