No one held responsible for blacktopping work worth Rs 10 lacs damaged within 24 hours

[ September 04, 2018 ] Enquiry committee ensured shielding suspended wrongdoers, likely to be reinstated soon The complete mess in Jammu Municipal Corporation is not new and is evident on daily basis with expose of public funds getting mismanaged for vested interests . The live example of this is no one has been held responsible by JMC for substandard work of black topping worth Rs. 9,24,141/- which got washed out / damaged within week time in the premises of JMC, Town Hall Complex, Jammu allotted to contractor Rakesh Kumar Gupta R/o Gandhi Nagar, Jammu vide order No. MJ/18-19/Tech/C/Alt/503-09 dated: 05.06.2018 against NIT No. E-NIT’s No. 08c dated 11-5-2018 of Central Division, JMC, Town Hall, Jammu. The enquiry ordered in this regard has been an eyewash as sample testing report by Directorate of Design Inspection & Quality Control Department, J&K Govt., Mohinder Nagar, Canal Road, Jammu (DIQC) issued by the Dr. Amit Sharma, Research Officer in the lab of Directorate of DIQC vide No. RO/HRS-MTL/JMU/TR/2018/470-71 dated: 14.7.2018 maintaining that there is no fault with regard to contents of Bituminous and infect it was an attempt to save wrongdoers and to release payment in favour of contractor. The three samples collected and sent to lab for verification and quality check of contents as per the report of Lab which was delivered after charging Rs 2475 from JMC as testing charges, Sample 277/18-19 has 5.0 bituminous content. Sample 278/18-19 has 5.2 bituminous content and third sample 279/18-19 has 4.8 bituminous content which according to the expert and known of department is absolutely fine. As per the highly placed sources, on the basis of this report the suspended Engineers who were deputed to supervise work will be reinstated soon. Moreover in this case the guarantee period clause was over sighted whereas in other works of same nature the contractor is duty bound to repair the roads for three years and for this to happen the 20% of total payment is put on hold so that timely repairing of roads is ensured. However the work in question was damaged within 24 hours and hence the JMC should have imposed full penalty on the contractor and the amount lost should have been recovered from erring engineers which was not done in this case which shows the callous working of JMC. It is unfortunate to note that single member enquiry committee constituted by the then JMC Commissioner vide order No. MJ/Estt/S/131-37 dated: 18.06.2018 from its own wing Executive Division Trikuta Division through Executive Engineer Arun Gupta, It was well known that appointing Arun Gupta as an enquiry officer into the Rs. 9,24,141/- blacktopping work in the premises of JMC on 11.06.2018 will be a face saving activity and also to safeguard suspended its two AEE Joginder Pal Saraf and JE S.K. Bhat due to substandard work which washed away within one week time was clearly mentioned in JMC Commissioner enquiry order as both the officials in Central Division, JMC, Town Hall, Jammu were deputed to supervise the above mentioned work. It deserve mentioning here that enquiry was to be conducted by the blacktopping work got uprooted next day and why supply and stacking of graded stone aggregate at site inclusive carriage with 53 mm to 22.4 mm with stacking of crusher dust having 8% quantity as per the allotment order. Enquiry committee was also to enquire whether laying water Bound Macadam with specified stone agg. Stone screening and binding material incl. screening, sorting, spreading to template and consolidation with power road roller of 8 to 10 ton capacity etc. complete a) 53 mm to 22.4 mm incl. stone screening 11.2 mm size whether done or not as had it been done so the uprooting of blacktopping work would not have taken place. However the enquiry officer Xen Arun Kumar of Trikuta Division to verify and check particulars as per the advertise NIT did not send complete sample to DIQC to verify whether the contents for laying of 22 thick semi-dense bituminous concrete (SDBC) at Town Hall Complex, JMC Jammu (with paver machine) vide his letter No. MJ/Tech/T/1071-73 dated: 6.07.2018 was done or not and also to fix a responsibility of lapse which resulted in loss of nearly Rs. 9,24,141/- to the govt exchequer. The enquiry officer was duty bound to send the complete sample to DIQC to verify that the work took place as per the NIT particulars but the enquiry officer deliberately send only bituminous sample which was already alright and so the report submitted by DIQC did not raise any question on the contents of bituminous quality. However as per the rule while lifting the sample of Semi-Dense bituminous concrete (SDBC) someone from DIQC must have been present there so that it can be proved that the sample were taken where the substandard work was carried out inside the JMC Premises, Town Hall, Jammu. But there is no proof that the enquiry officer lifted the sample from the site where this substandard work was executed and infect it was done on his own as in the name of enquiry Committee, he was all in all providing him ample space and time to do enquiry as per his own whims and fancies. Moreover if the proper sample has been taken, there should have been a pit to authenticate that sample was taken from there and as per rule of enquiry that pit can’t be filled till the enquiry is completed where as in this case such a procedure was not followed which raises question mark on credibility of enquiry committee. As per the sample report from DIQC, it is evident that the guilty AEE Joginder Pal Saraf and JE S.K. Bhat will be reinstated and there is every possibility that the payment of contractor will be released where as both AEE and JE and contractor were mainly responsible for uprooting of blacktopping work inside the JMC premises. JMC cannot befool masses as the substandard work was clearly evident to the naked eyes and also as per the enquiry order of JMC commissioner after the substandard work where he maintained that there was clear cut dereliction of duty on part of both AEE and JE and also the inexperience of the contractor. Now if the lab report free both AEE and JE of the charges then it will be betrayal taxpayers money and if any attempt is made to save the culprits in the above case then nothing more unfortunate can happen then this where the guilty or deliberately pardoned and no action taken. In the light of above fact JMC commissioner must again ordered lifting of samples in his presence and also in the presence of concerned officials of DIQC so that the exact reason for the failure of worth Rs. 9,24,141/- of blacktopping work could be find out and accordingly responsibility fixed to punish the wrong doers in the above mentioned work. In case the payment of contractor is released and both AEE and JE reinstated then it will be huge setback for the general public who has high stakes in the judicial system of country and if their faith is shattered then no one will believe in the working of JMC which then will be a huge causality regarding the development of Municipal areas from ward 1 to 71.