1300 school buildings abandoned after construction’
If that is not corruption what it is?
Srinagar , Aug 5 (KINS) Chief Secretary Dr Arun Kumar Mehta said that previously there was no fairness in allotment of tenders and works were given to contractors just because they wanted without any administrative approval.
According to news agency KINS, in a rare interview to a national news channel, Dr Mehta said 1300 school buildings were constructed without any such requirement and were abandoned later.“Presently, the transparency level is very high and there is accountability of what we do. But there was a time when there was no tendering whatsoever and all works were awarded on nomination basis. It was unheard of,” Dr Mehta, who took over as new Chief Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir on June 8, said.
Dr Mehta went on: “Viewers might find it very difficult to believe that you can allot works worth crores of rupees without tendering”.
Saying that there was no sense of fairness in allotment of works, the Chief Secretary said the works were given because someone likes that. This practice has been completely done away with now. It’s not possible to allot any work without tenders, he added.
“Works were allotted even without administrative approval. A project started for Rs 10 crore ended up at the cost of Rs 100 crore. No one was there to ask. There was no tendering and no technical sanction,” he said.
He added that work started in 1979 were completed now.
“We took up 1100 projects under Jammu and Kashmir Infrastructure Development Corporation (JKIDFC),” he said.
Asserting that now there are same rules in Jammu and Kashmir as that of Government of India, Dr Mehta said the system now is not contract driven.
“Earlier, the works were given because the contractors wanted,” he said.
He disclosed that 1300 schools were abandoned after constriction as they were not required. “They were constructed because the contractors wanted. We are now using them as buildings”.
During 2021-22, 80 percent works started this year will be completed in the same year.
“The Jammu and Kashmir Government is following same rules as that of Government of India. There is 100 percent physical verification of works,” the Chief Secretary said.
Dr Mehta said there was a rule that all works had to be executed through Jammu and Kashmir Project Construction Corporation (JKPCC), which never tendered the works.
“If that is not corruption, what it is? If that is defensible then what is indefensible”? he asked.
On Government order of denying jobs to stone pelters, the Chief Secretary asked the interviewer: “Suppose you are running a private company. Will you appoint a stone pelter”?
However, he said, the Government headed by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha is very compassionate.