BERHAMPUR: Odisha has taken lead in the implementation of Central Vigilance Commission guidelines in the country. Yet, there are many corrupt officials here who continue to hold key government posts, notwithstanding the multiple corruption cases pending against them.
These include some engineers of the Water Resources Department who were charge-sheeted by the Vigilance Department and face trial by Special Vigilance Judge at Berhampur. They continue in their posts and some have even been promoted with no departmental proceedings drawn against them.
Secretary of the Department recently directed Chief Construction Engineer of Upper Kolab Irrigation Project, Koraput, Gopal Krushna Panigrahi, to hold additional charge of Superintendent Engineer, Southern Irrigation Circle, Berhampur.
Panigrahi along with nine others is facing Vigilance case on charges of misappropriation of over Rs 1 crore released for execution of Sorada dam work in Ganjam.
According to Vigilance chargesheet, construction of treatment to crest of Sorada dam including surface drainage arrangement was taken up in 1995.
Construction works at the cost of Rs 8,53,70,289 was entrusted to contractor Pramod Chandra Ratha. The work was started in 1998 with 30-month deadline for completion.
However, allegations of gross irregularities came to the fore subsequently and during inquiry, Vigilance sleuths found that instead of using sand and gravel in the filter blanket, ordinary soil was used for construction works although the contractor was paid for the specified materials.
Accordingly, cases were registered in 2009 against Kishore Chandra Mishra, chief engineer, Shyam Prasad Mishra, superintendent engineer, executive engineers Ratikant Sabat and Madan Mohan Samantray, Gopal Krushna Panigrahi, assistant engineer, junior engineers G Srinivas Rao, M Maheswar Rao and P Sudarsan, divisional accountant Tarini Charan Sethi and the contractor for misappropriation of government money to the tune of Rs 1,12,04,912.
Before submitting the chargesheet at the Special Vigilance Court, Berhampur, Vigilance officials obtained permission from authorities concerned. Though by this time, some engineers had retired, they appeared before the Court and got bail. The case is still under trial.
Sources said the General Administration Department in a directive had ordered disciplinary proceedings in the Vigilance report.
However, Gopal Krushna Panigrahi got promoted as executive engineer in 2001 and to the rank of superintendent engineer in 2011 following which, he was posted as chief construction engineer, Upper Kolab Irrigation Project.