Forum accuses dept of releasing bill without work

[Karda Natam]

DAPORIJO, Aug 20: The All Giba Circle Vigilance Forum (AGCVF) has alleged that the “rural works department (RWD) DPIU-II” here in Upper Subansiri released a bill amounting to Rs 15 crore against the Phase-I work for the PMGSY road to the contractor, despite “hardly twenty percent work (having been) done in the scheme in Phase-I.”

The forum sought the intervention of an SIT or the SIC in the matter, and initiation of legal action against erring officers for their alleged nexus with the contractor and releasing such a huge amount without the work having been done, “if substantive evidence was found against the allegations.”

Earlier, the forum had sought information regarding the 0 Point Menga road-Luchi Lungte PMGSY road scheme, amounting to Rs 33 crore, through the RTI Act.

The AGCVF informed that “as per the information furnished in the RTI on Phase-I of work completion, especially for formation-cutting and culvert construction, there has been no such work performed physically, for which more than Rs 15 crore has already been released to the contractor.”

It alleged that officers of the RWD Daporijo DPIU-II released the bill without carrying out ground verification.

“Paying the government’s money without the work done to self-vested contractor is willful negligence on the part of the department, and leads to a breach of public trust by the department and misfeasance in public work,” the forum said.

The scheme, which had been sanctioned in 2007 in Phase-I, was supposed to be completed by September 2019, as per the agreement between the contractor and the department.

The forum claimed that “there has been no visible machinery and labourers deployed at the work site. Neither is there a junior engineer deployed at the worksite to look after the road construction.”

Earlier, the AGCVF had registered a complaint with the department regarding the poor quality of work being executed, “but no positive response was received,” it said.

“On 13 June, the state quality monitoring team also inspected the quality of the work and expressed its dissatisfaction over the work executed to the department,” it said.

The forum said that it would stage a democratic movement if the state government does not address its grievance.