Tribune News Service
Amritsar, May 23
A Right to Information (RTI) activist and a social worker, Suresh Kumar Sharma, alleged embezzlement of funds by officials of the Public Works Department (PWD) in the ongoing project of Bus Rapid Transit Scheme (BRTS) in the city. He claimed to have discovered a scam of Rs 22 crore, but presented “inappropriate” documents to prove it. Sharma alleged that the PWD had provided him incomplete information through the RTI.
Addressing a press conference at a local restaurant, Sharma alleged that as per the contract under the project, the construction company was supposed to instal 2,500 tree guards along with the BRTS lane. But the company installed only 2,000 tree guards. Sharma was not aware whether the government paid for the remaining tree guards. Similarly, he alleged that as per the contract, the company had to instal interlocking tiles, but these are yet to be installed in some of the areas. He also raised a question on the common schedule of rates (CSR) of tiles. He claimed that tiles were available at lesser rates in the market. He also estimated “embezzlement” in the construction of cemented paver blocks.
Meanwhile, PWD officials refuted the allegations of Sharma.
JS Sodhi, Executive Engineer, said, “Sharma is not aware that some of the work of the BRTS project is incomplete and it’s the company’s responsibility to complete it. If it doesn’t complete the work, then we will not pay them. We pay them only for installed tree guards. Everything is on the record and transparent. Every citizen has the right to solicit information. Levelling allegations has become a routine affair, but there has to be a proof.”
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