Vigilance cell unearths fake bills scam worth Rs 10.17 cr

Vigilance cell unearths fake bills scam worth Rs 10.17 cr

A probe by the BBMP’s Technical Vigilance Cell under Commissioner (TVCC) has brought to light fake bills prepared for unfinished asphalting and drain construction work, money spent on a non-existing bridge and violation of directions of the Palike special commissioner by executive engineers.

These are the highlights of the report of the TVCC team, which was tasked with investigating irregularities in the works worth Rs 10.17 crore carried out in the Dasarahalli zone, particularly in the Rajarajeshwarinagar Assembly Constituency, in February, May and June last year.

The decision to order the probe was taken in the BBMP Council following reports of large-scale irregularities in the Dasarahalli zone.

Documents accessed by Deccan Herald show that in Byraveshwaranagar (Ward 70), a bridge was supposed to be built at a cost of Rs 11.82 lakh (job code 161/31.05.2014), but when the TVCC team went to the spot, they did not find it, though the money had been drawn for the work. The estimate book did not show points pertaining to the bridge construction work. Instead, it showed some existing slabs were removed and relaid, flagging course built and pre-cast covering done. The executive engineer managed to get technical and administrative approvals for the works.

The engineers generated fake bills regarding asphalting of roads, which never took place. These works were supposed to be executed near Durga Parameshwari Temple in Ward 12, Srigangadhara Main Road, Kalashanthi Nagar and RCC drain on Rajani Farm Road in Rajarajeshwarinagar and MEI Road in Ward 41, and the value of these works were in crores.

The executive engineer did not have any map to show the length and width of the road. There was no technical base for the estimate of the work. The executive engineer got technical approval without registering it in the road history book, which is mandatory. There were no documents regarding 21 works to show when the tenders were floated. The engineer also showed on papers that he relaid the slabs, which never happened.

Regarding Rs 1.09-crore work of improvement of roads and drains in Shettyhalli, the Special Commissioner (Projects) had directed the executive engineer to float the tender, but the latter defied the instruction and entrusted the work to the Karnataka Rural Infrastructure Development Corporation, at 11 per cent extra than the estimated expenditure.

The TVCC investigating officer noted, “The executive engineer violated the directions of the Special Commissioner, the decision taken by the BBMP Standing Committee on ward level works and Karnataka Transparency in Public Procurement (KTPP) Act. It is a clear case of dereliction of duty.”

Interestingly, the KRIDL had not given its consent letter to carry out seven works worth Rs 3.25 crore in the zone, reveals the probe.

The executive engineer did not collect the security deposit of Rs 19.29 lakh from the contractors who carried out the work. Even after the unprecedented delay, the engineer did not bother to levy a penalty on the contractor or even seek the completion certificate approved by the competent authority to clear the bills.

There is no record to show the approval by the Empaneled Quality Control Agency Karnataka Test Houses Private Limited, which has been authorised to attest the quality of the work. Instead, some other agency's quality test has been submitted, which amounts to the dereliction of duty, the TVCC probe said.

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