Audit report unearths scam worth Rs 22 crore in BWSSB

159 officers involved in transactions that do not tally with accounts

Audit report unearths scam worth Rs 22 crore in BWSSB

The audit report of the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) reeks of graft, bringing to the fore financial irregularities to the tune of Rs 22.43 crore in 12 sub-divisions from the erstwhile City Municipal Council (CMC) areas that have been brought under BBMP limits.

In the year-long audit conducted by the Financial Adviser and Chief Accounts Officer of the board, it was found that the amount paid by consumers towards beneficiary capital contribution (BCC) as part of the Greater Bangalore Water and Sanitation Project (GBWASP) for new water and sanitary connections, was not reflected in the board’s bank account.

Not just this. As many as 159 officers working as assistant executive engineers, assistant engineers, junior engineers and other workers were involved in transactions that just did not seem to tally with accounts. The board has already suspended 10 employees and issued show cause notices to 25 others, BWSSB officials told Deccan Herald. 

Irregularities have occurred in many categories and as per the audit report, Rs 2.63 crore worth new connections were sanctioned without the collection of GBWASP charges.

Rs 2.27 crore was shown in the account as instalments of GBWASP charges only after the audit began and these accounts could also have doubled collection of GBWASP charges by the consumers.

Rs 4.35 crore was shown as short collection of GBWASP charges, Rs 6.4 crore as ‘remittance made but not raised on bank scroll,’ which means that the details for which the payment was made was not reflecting in the bank account. Rs 1.90 crore was shown towards ‘challans not visible,’ which could also be due to issuance of fake challans or acknowledgements to consumers.

Rs 2.56 crore was shown towards challans not found in the sanctioned file, which may be due to misplacement of cheques. Rs 13 lakh was shown towards installments reflected in the bank account, but not in the computer and Rs 12 lakh was shown towards consumers’, which again did not reflect on bank scroll. 

Further, in December 2013, the board had unearthed a scam of Rs 10 lakh involving its staff. Consumers, who had made payment towards the BCC in cash to BWSSB,were allegedly issued fake bank acknowledgments.

BWSSB chairman Anjum Perwez, said that besides finding irregularities, the priority of the board is to first recover the losses running into crores.

“We have to strategically conduct inspection with the help of the audit report, question each officer and collect their statement individually. After going through the records, we are hopeful of recovering Rs 10 crore. However, the remaining Rs 12 crore has to be unearthed through inspection only,” he added.

To avoid any such discrepancies in the future, BWSSB has urged consumers to make payments only through demand draft, Perwez said, adding that their installment amount will be reflected in their monthly water bill.

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