The Punjab Vigilance Bureau today claimed to have unearthed a scam in the construction of a bridge on the Uppar Bari Doab Canal (UBDC) in Gurudaspur district. It said it has registered a criminal case against PWD officers, including a contractor who was paid the entire amount by accused officers, whereas only one-fourth of the construction work on the proposed bridge was complete. Vigilance Bureau ADGP-cum-Chief Director, B K Uppal said that the state government had allotted a construction work of bridge on UBDC near Babbehali, Gurdaspur through e-tendering amounting to Rs 1,69,69,699 in July 2015 to one Sanjiv Gupta of Balaji Builders, Batala which was to be completed within six months. "An amount of Rs 56,47,841 was initially released to the construction firm as a part payment.
During the inspection by the technical team of Vigilance Bureau, it was found that the concerned engineers had paid excess amount of Rs 7,50,805 to the contractor," he said in a statement. He further said that Parminder Singh Tiwana, who was having the charge of SE, Pathankot at that time, transferred supervision of this work to Xen Batala, the charge of which was also with him. "During the probe it was found that Kamaljit Singh, Junior Engineer, working under SE Tiwana, allegedly released Rs 1,07,10,948 to the construction firm," said Uppal. The vigilance chief said that the accused PWD officers had paid almost the entire amount of Rs 1,63,58,789 to Balaji Builders, showing completion of construction of bridge but only construction of piers (pillars) work below the canal water level was completed, which in terms of cost is approximately to the tune of Rs 48,97,036. The probe of technical team of vigilance bureau has disclosed that the accused in connivance with each other and contractor and by abusing their official positions have caused pecuniary loss to the tune of Rs 1,14,61,753 to the state exchequer and caused same amount of pecuniary advantage to the contractor, he added. He said that Vigilance Bureau has registered a case under relevant sections of IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act and investigation was underway.
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