BANGALORE: It looks like for Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), it is once bitten, but not shy. The civic body has repeated its mistake again and again by writing to the State government demanding the suspension of eleven Public Works Department (PWD) engineers alleging a misappropriation of Rs 1.65 crore without submitting a detailed report on the scam though the Urban Development Department has insisted on the report.
The scam refers to road work. BBMP had undertaken the renovation and strengthening of Jalahalli Road at an estimated cost of Rs 5.91 crore during 2007-08 when Subramanya was the Commissioner. Later, in 2011, the BBMP’s Technical Vigilance Cell under Commissioner (TVCC) had inspected the widening of Jalahalli Main Road and unearthed irregularities. The officials submitted a report in July 2011 and based on the TVCC report, BBMP Commissioner H Siddaiah wrote to the Additional Chief Secretary (Urban Development Department) (UDD) in the same month urging him to suspend the PWD engineers who executed the project and also to initiate a departmental inquiry and recover the misappropriated funds from them.
Siddaiah, in his letter, had alleged misappropriation of Rs 1.65 crore and pointed fingers at 14 engineers, including Chief Engineer, Executive Engineer, Assistant Executive Engineer and Assistant Engineer of PWD who were on deputation at BBMP.
The Urban Development Department, in turn, asked the BBMP to redo Jalahalli Road work audit. In a letter, S Renukaradhya, Under Secretary (UDD) in September 2011, pointed out that TVCC report is incomplete. He had mentioned that there were no details in the TVCC report on how much funds each engineer has misused. He also mentioned that TVCC did not send the notice to the engineers and added that the report had been compiled without taking the engineers’ version. He also said the accused were neither taken along during the inspection nor given any opportunity to react to the allegations. The UDD asked the BBMP to prepare the report all over again with certain clarifications and resend it.
BBMP did not send the detailed report. But in January 2012, B F Patil, Additional Commissioner (Admin), BBMP, wrote to the PWD. The PWD replied that they did not have any details. The department forwarded the letter to UDD. Now on March 14, UDD replied to BBMP stating that it had not answered or acted according to their previous letter (September 2011). It also raised objections against BBMP for not sending notices to PWD engineers. In the letter, the Under Secretary has directed the BBMP to give a detailed report to UDD.
BBMP sources said that when the PWD engineers were called for inspection, only an Assistant Executive Engineer turned up. “When we called them for the second time, seven engineers came. The report has been recorded in the presence of engineers during the inspection,” sources said.