Purchase of vehicles, machinery without tenders:Report

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Srinagar—An audit report of the Accountant General has re­vealed irregularities in corpora­tions of Housing and Urban Devel­opment Department.

The copy of a report in the pos­session of KNS submitted by the government to the legislative as­sembly during the recent budget secession says, that Directorate of Urban Local Bodies and the Jammu Municipal Corporation purchased vehicles and machin­ery for Rs 3.90 crore directly from the authorized deals without in­vitation of tenders bids from sup­pliers despite the fact that State Motor Garages is the depart­ment authorized to purchase vehicles for government de­partments.,

The Director ULB Kash­mir in March 2013 placed two supply orders for pur­chase of 22 TATA motor ve­hicles of different category with national carages at a cost of Rs 2.47 crore during 2012-2013. The report says that rates were inclusive of all taxes and duties both central and state and the delivery of vehicles by the supplier including copies of in­voices and payment made were not provided to audit.

“However, from the payment details available on record it was seen that an amount of Rs 2.52 cr was paid to the supplier during march 2013 to may 2014 in respect of these vehicles, thereby resulting in an over-payment of Rs 5.59 lakh to the supplier,” the report reads.

According to the report, an amount of Rs 5.31 cr had been in­curred by three divisions during the year 2015-16 on execution of works departmentally by engaging labour through mates in violation of the laid down norms. An amount of Rs16 lakh was released under the 13th FC to the JMC for training and capacity building of munici­pality staff to improve delivery.

“But the JMC incurred an ex­penditure of Rs 2.52 lakh only for training and the balance 13.48 lakh was not utilized for the in­tended purpose and involved the risk of diversion for other pur­poses,” t h e r e ­p o r t reads.

In March 2015, Urban Environ­ment Engineering Department allotted a contract to a firm for design and construction of 1.20 MLD sewerage treatment plant at Patnitop at a cost of Rs 11.60 crore. The scheme was proposed to be completed within two years.

The report however, says that scrutiny of records revealed that the firm was given mobilization advance of Rs 58 lakh and con­sultation fees of Rs 21.90 lakh.

“However, after executing some civil works, further execu­tion was stopped in November 2015, which could not be restored till March 2017 due to non-ob­taining of NOC from the Forest Department. Thus, poor planning of the Dept for taking up the work without the forest clearance has resulted in blocking of Rs 79.90 lakh,” it reads.

The Executive Engineer ULB division II Jammu took up the construction of community cen­tres Batote and Banihal at an estimated cost of Rs 45.36 lakh.

However, the report says that audit noticed in January 2017 that after incurring the ex­penditure of Rs 24.60 lakh, the construction works were abandoned due to non-availability of land and funds.

“It resulted in wasteful expenditure of Rs 24.60 lakh besides denial of benefits to the envisaged population of the area,” the report reads.

Under the integrated Hous­ing and Slum Development Pro­gramme scheme for Bandipora, the cash assistance of Rs 1.03 lakh per beneficiary was to be disbursed in three installments.

However, the report says that audit revealed out of 417 ben­eficiaries, 48 beneficiaries were found not eligible for assistance under the scheme.

“However Executive Offi­cer, MC Bandipora had already disbursed March-April 2010 Rs 14.40 lakh to these 48 ineligible beneficiaries, which was not recovered till March 2017,” it reads. (KNS)

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