BENGALURU: An inquiry committee set up to probe the irregularities in underground drainage works of the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board in Yelahanka has found a chief engineer and 14 other engineers guilty of irregularities and malpractice. The board has lost `35 crore owing to this.
The four-member committee opined that Chief Engineer (Projects) and a section of his team of engineers have carried out numerous violations in the drainage works in three layouts - Attur, Jakkur and Venkatala Agrahara Layouts.
The contracts relate to providing glazed stoneware pipeline for a length of 85.64 km, reinforced cement concrete pipes for 11.45 km and construction of 2,286 manholes. The work was taken up based on the report submitted by the Bengaluru branch of the consultancy firm DHV Netherlands BV Water Technologies.
BWSSB Engineer in-chief S Krishnappa and Executive Engineers S Narahari, B S C Somashekhar and G R Govindaraj were on the panel. The inquiry was by BWSSB after relentless pursuit of the issue by retired chief engineer P J Sundaramurthy. He had even received two threat calls and had complained about this at Hanumanth Nagar Police Station.
Those guilty have violated the Karnataka Transparency in Public Procurement Act. As per the Act, for any contract worth over `1 crore a publicised tender notification needs to be called but this was not done, he said.
“The layouts were in an erstwhile green belt area where development activity could not be taken up. There is no authentic communication from the Urban Development Department that the drainage works can be taken up,” he added.
Work order was split to three contractors without the Board’s consent, which is mandatory, he said. The works were shown to be a variation of the Greater Bangalore Water Supply and Sanitation Project work going on in Bommanahalli, which has funding from the World Bank and Japan International Cooperation Agency. “By showing that the project cost has exceeded what had been specified in the tender, additional funding can be sought. This is what they did by rushing all processes before March 31, 2015, as the WB has specified their financing would end by then.”
yet to decide on action plan
When asked about the future course of action against the accused who are presently on BWSSB payrolls, a top official said the report will be presented in its upcoming board meeting.
“They will decide on the course of action. It is likely that they may hand over the case to CID, Anti-corruption Bureau or Lokayukta,” he said.