By Tricitynews Reporter
Chandigarh 12th August:- Punjab Irrigation Contractor Association President Naresh Duggal has demanded speedy investigation in the ongoing Vigilance inquiry in the tender scam and thanked Punjab government for Initiating vigilance probe against corrupt irrigation contractors as well as Punjab Government Officials.
For the last seven years, work is being done by clubbing tenders less than Rs 2.5 crore to the tune 150-160 crores, thereby increasing the cost of tenders manifold to favor select few contractors and enhancing cost of tender to benefit them. However majority of contractors can bid only up to Rs 2.5 crore tender only.
For years contractors have allegedly suffered under a cartel in which just five big contractors of Punjab are involved. For example turnover of just one contractor which was Rs 4.7 million in 2007 increased to 300 crores in 2017. This was a massive 60-fold increase. The Punjab Vigilance Bureau reportedly investigated this and found out that multi-millions are used in the expulsion of Irrigation Scam.
Addressing the press today, Naresh Duggal said that the Punjab Irrigation Department is floating online tender for the development of canal, drain, river by the Punjab Irrigation Department. There is a non-preferential condition related to the time of these tenders, so that the contractor working for a long time has been giving tender to some selected people by depriving the rate of paying the tender to the Co-Operative societies.
The estimated cost by the officials of the irrigation department by clubbing different jobs, ranging from 40 lakh to 2.5 crore rupees. With more cost, work is allotted to select contractors. The amount of tender’s increases by 30-40 per cent and the burden of the public exchequer also increases.
Naresh Duggal said that he has pleaded with the government that this cartel works in connivance with the departmental officers, whose vigilance investigation is underway, The government should direct the departmental officers to immediately investigate the entire matter and also start vigilance investigation against the concerned employees. The government should have transparency in this in order to take immediate action.
It is important that in 2017 all the tender by the department were below 2.5 crore and the government has saved nearly Rs. 10 crores. The Punjab Vigilance Bureau investigated this multi Millions scam. Obviously, only five officers of the Irrigation Department are involved in the tender of Rs. 12.04 crores of Harryke Head Works. The VB is enquiring the Rs 5.47 crore tender.
Naresh Duggal said some of their demands are as follows, For A1 class contractors Govt has fixed limit of 2.5 crore. This should be adhered to so that all the contractors get an opportunity to participate in the tender, maintain transparency, eliminate corruption and the government Revenue loss, The contractor's Enlightenment is only for three years by the Irrigation Department, after three years, the formality of the Enlistment has to be repaid again.
When taking the tender, only take the tender fees and not the processing fees.
Estimated cost of less than 4 lakhs tenders should be made manual so that there is no delay in emergency work.
The General Secretary of the Association Ajay Singh, Balraj Singh, Jaskaran Singh, Bridge Lal, Sukhdev Singh, Gurdev Singh, Rupinder Singh, Gurdarshan Singh, Fakir Chand Vinod Kumar were also present at the press meet .