India

Piece worker method adopted over E-tendering in works worth crores

Golden yug
[ March 02, 2018 ] Govt fails to implement its own circulars and orders Govt of J&K through various notifications and orders has empowered JKPCC and PWD to carry out works related to constructions of roads and buildings through said departments by adopting codal formalities to uphold transparency and accountability besides on compatible rates to save tax payers money in any of the constructions for public. In this regard Secretary to J&K Govt, Sourabh Bhagat IAS then heading Information Technology department through circular No. 04/ITD of 2015 dated 20-5-2015 directed all heads of state Govt departments and other govt agencies that department of Commerce, Govt of India, pushing for implementing an ICT based solution for procurement of goods, services and civil works by central and state Govts and vide above mentioned communications existing e-tendering of 5 lacs value works was lowered to works value one lac following e-tendering procedure work emphasising its implementation a must and to give it priority in existing works and also to make sure for future works as well. In spite of the direction to follow the above mentioned procedures by state Govt, J&K Housing Board did not act on this and continued to follow self claimed and self oriented procedures sacrificing quality and cost of works. Not only this as per Housing Act of J&K Govt of 1976, it was restricted to undertake flats and colonies fall under the jurisdiction of Housing Board but for unknown reasons it was given works beyond their jurisdiction when there are several other agencies of govt were there especially to undertake such works. However as per the record of J&K Housing Board prudent to mention here that J&K Housing Board which is primarily not meant to carry Govt constructions works was not also empowered by above said communication as per the authenticated documents available with us J&K Housing Board has become a self style construction company by undertaking thousands crores of rupees construction for approximately 42 kinds of such works throughout state as most of them are under scanner. The record of the said Board indicates that without following codal formalities laid down by state govt including mandatory e-tendering when all other agencies including PHE, PWD, JDA, JKPCC, SIDCO, SICOP etc are following the govt laid norms and procedures. Presently the J&K Housing Board by adopting piece worker method without floating the tenders spent huge amount in crores and in case of construction of Govt Ayurvedic College cum Hospital at Khugga (Sangni), Tehsil Akhnoor, District Jammu amounting for Rs 2580 lacs as per the DPR of Housing Board ,other works out of 41 works of same nature presently under construction by Housing Board, few are sub-district hospital at Akhnoor costing Rs 3335 lacs, Govt polytechnic college at Ramban costing Rs 1355 lacs, construction of 50 bedded SDH Hospital and staff quarters costing Rs 2018 lacs and Sub-district hospital Jourian costing Rs 1674.30 crores where above mentioned board Managing Director and executive engineers and Company left no stone unturned in ensuring personal fortunes rather than the quality of projects in hands, which were already given at inflated rates on one pretext or the other wilfully ignoring laid down criteria of state Govt. Modus Operandi adopted as evident in case of Govt Ayurvedic College cum Hospital is Director Indian System Medicine vide letter No.DISM/P&S/51/399-401 Dated 17-11-2011 released 4 crore rupees through Cheque No. 180051012 dated 17-11-2011 in favour of MD, J&K Housing Board endorsing copy of same to Private Secretary to Minister for Health, Horticulture and floriculture for kind information of Minister. J&K Housing Board utilized said amount in opaque way, no procedures were followed existing at that time of rule book. Instead of issuing e-tender of the said work was issued in parts which in turn got executed in parts also. Board vide letter No. SD/AMC/16-17 Dated 1-11-2013 assigned construction work on labour rates to M/S Radha Krishan of Akhnoor without mentioning what labour rates. The assignment was approved by Dy GM Housing Unit-III Jammu and authorization letter signed by senior Manager Housing Board until Jammu. Interestingly same contractor on same day through another letter was authorized to supply Bajri, sand, bricks etc without mention of rates for managing these items. Modus operandi adopted by JK Housing Board not only killed transparency also caused revenue losses to state because if the contract was allotted under proper procedure to any contractor on competitive rates state has earned revenue of crores of Rupees in the form of GST and other taxes amounting to over 20% of the allotted work. Moreover JK Housing Board on inflated rates (Passed by Board) is under different heads charging 10% extra making the project more costlier as Board services increasing the cost of project in hand. In addition to this on DPR of said project based on Housing Board Schedule rates of 2011 at the rate of 136% was added on CPWD-PAR of 2007 (base 100) making the project more costlier by 264.90 lacs and 200.11 lacs making it total DPR worth Rs 2429.76 lacs for construction of Ayurvedic College cum Institution . Through another letter dated 6-7-2017 Radha Krishan a govt contractor was asked to complete balance work as piece worker of the said hospital and other allied works by Dy Manager Housing Unit-1 Jammu as per record available, Director ISM has so far released 19.94 crores during 2011-12 to 18-10-2016 and during the same period JK Housing Board has incurred 1735.96 lacs for the construction of Ayurvedic College cum Institution. Amazingly Madan Lal Sharma who as per JK Housing Board letter bearing No. HU-111/CAMP/1-2/2012 Dated 26-4-2012 is neither a contractor nor a Firm was assigned the work of execution of Govt Nursing and Mid-wifery School at Akhnoor costing Rs 5.35 crores further raises question about working of JK Housing Board and Minister concerned morally owes an explanation why this modus operandi was adopted showing mirror to fair practices. Residents of area on completition of said project said that is it constructed for showpiece for it has not been dedicated to public even after its completion 2 years back. Senior citizens of the locality said that it is substandard work and to hide their misdemeanours inordinate delay in its opening is followed to satisfy file work to get released more funds for its renovation claiming work was completed number of years back and more importantly shielding those who bribed Board officials beside they were supposed to maintain it after its competition free of cost known as warranty period. To defeat transparency, another work for construction of 100 bedded sub district hospital at Akhnoor was started in the year 2013-14 costing Rs 33.75 crores and due to inefficiency of board officials same is yet to be completed. Work for the same was assigned to Mohan Lal Gupta and Sons by floating existing norms. JK Housing Board also constructed an auditorium at Gandhi Nagar Jammu spending Rs 6.35 crores adopting same method having no legal sanction. Notwithstanding the Principal Secretary, Higher Education on record expressed his dissatisfaction over quality of works done by Housing Board and went to extent asking Superintend Engineer (R&B) Srinagar to inspect and report quality of works for necessary action. Worth mentioning here that inefficiency of JK Housing Board key officials is no secret in recent past work of Rajiv Gandhi Hospital at Gangyal worth Rs 72 crores was taken back as same was given in the year 2012-13 and JK Housing Board was unable to do justice with the project due to its key officials poor vision using only 2 crores again incurring crores of rupees revenue losses to state besides flushing taxpayers money in the drains and the same should be done with other works which are being undertaken by JK Housing Board. After observing the consistent failure of Housing Board in completing any of works undertaken in stipulated time period, the project was taken aback for poor track record in construction works. Govt is answerable over its failure to get implemented its own order No. 47-PW (R&B) of 2013 Dated 19-2-2013 which says that all civil works costing more than Rs 700 lacs as against Rs 100 lac shall be allocated to J&K Project Construction Corporation Ltd (JKPCC) in respect of all govt departments and Govt Corporations. In case the JKPCC are not in a position to take up works for any reason the Public Works Department (PWD) will have the works executed by following codal formalities. In the light of above facts, Vigilance enquiry is need of hour to find out who are behind the violation of govt laid down norms and playing with hard earned taxpayers money by delaying projects resulting in cost escalation and wastage of govt funds and thinking of only personal fortunes. Embezzlement of 27 crores projects by JK Housing Board indicates towards our reservations towards capabilities and efficiency of JK Board in undertaking any construction works.