Projects worth hundreds of crores executed without sanction: J&K admin to High Court

A fact-finding committee constituted by the J&K government in May informed the court in a report, which the HC reproduced last week in an order on a petition by a contractor seeking release of pending dues. Twelve Treasury officers in the finance ...

Agencies
The High Court also summoned the status report of the investigation by the Anti-Corruption Bureau more than a year back.
NEW DELHI: The Jammu and Kashmir administration has told the High Court that projects worth hundreds of crores have been “executed without sanction” and that the role of various government officers in “hundreds of tenders” is being investigated by its Anti-Corruption Bureau for “fraud in connivance with the contractors”.

A fact-finding committee constituted by the J&K government in May informed the court in a report, which the HC reproduced last week in an order on a petition by a contractor seeking release of pending dues.

Twelve Treasury officers in the finance department, who had cleared bills for various works without administrative approval or technical sanction, have been transferred, the report said.


“Many works have been executed without accord of the administrative approval. A brief check of the information provided by the field/executing agencies regarding macadamization works executed from 2010-18 in Jammu as well as Kashmir reveal that proposal for accord of administrative approval is shown as submitted to the competent authorities but copy of the same are not available in the records. This clearly shows that works in all probability have been executed without accord of administrative approval,” the report said.

Works have been executed beyond estimated costs without due concurrence — the scope of work has been changed. In some cases, works have been executed without inviting tenders, meaning some have been executed in violation of procedures and quality has also been compromised, it said.

The HC, expressing shock over execution of work beyond availability of funds, said “issuance of tender notice without availability of funds and absence of approval of the government amounts to financial indiscipline and irregularity. There seems to be some nexus”.
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Funds worth Rs 1,841 crore were made available from 2015-16 to 2018-19 but works worth Rs 2,264 crore were executed. The HC order observed: “How without the funds being available, the work was executed is really a mystery.”

The High Court also summoned the status report of the investigation by the Anti-Corruption Bureau more than a year back.
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