Cong leader alleges Rs100-cr fraud in Smart City projects

Blames MC Commissioner Karnesh Sharma for all wrongdoings

Cong leader alleges Rs100-cr fraud in Smart City projects

Congress leader Sudesh Vij addresses a press conference in Jalandhar.

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 26

A city-based Congress leader today alleged corruption in the various Smart City projects being undertaken in the city.

Leader Sudesh Vij alleged that the level of corruption in the works had gone to the extent that twin contracts were being allocated and double payments were being issued against one work. He said frauds to the tune of at least Rs100 crore had been committed by the officials in the Smart City projects.

Vij said it was shocking for the residents that an amount of Rs21 crore had been allocated for the beautification of 11 roundabouts. “Everyone thought that with such a huge investment, the city’s façade would get lifted. But to our surprise, it is only some additional tiles that have been put up around each roundabout, which have been widened. Owing to widening, the roundabouts such as those at HMV College are only causing traffic congestion. Some roundabouts have high-mast lights put up. Spending up to Rs4 lakh was still acceptable going by the works done,” he fumed.

He rued that an amount of Rs1.25 crore has been shown to have been spent on already developed parks such as Beant Singh Park. “Some vigilant councillors like Rohan Sehgal managed to save the funds under the LED lights project or else the work had been allocated for Rs 274 crore. Now the same work is being done for Rs 44 crore. But there are some glitches here yet again as the new light points being installed are of 30 watts against 70-watt points as per the contract,” he further lamented.

The Congress leader said the entire city was upset over the repeated digging and endless delay on relaying of roads owing to the ongoing work for laying underground water pipes for 24x7 surface water project. He outrightly blamed MC Commissioner and CEO of the Smart City project Karnesh Sharma for all the wrongdoings.

Meanwhile, Karnesh Sharma said it was wrong to blame him for everything, especially when there are SEs, SDOs and a whole lot of officials in each department to supervise the works. “Besides them, we have councillors who sign for all works and also the third party audit system in place.”

Regarding 24X7 water supply work, he said it was being done by the Water Supply and Sewerage Board. About roundabout beautification project, he said: “It was commissioned before I joined. Still when I came, I got it stopped at Rs 8 crore work.”

Meanwhile, ex-CPS and BJP leader KD Bhandari has sought a probe into the bungling of funds of the Smart City project.

Tribune Shorts


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