An inquiry should be ordered to find out how many roads are being repaired or laid by sub-contractors and not the original contractors who had given various undertakings and made various declarations. They should be declared defaulters, their payment withheld and those assigning them contracts should face departmental inquiries and punished if necessary.
A REPORT says that for the laying of pontoon bridges and other work, some 18,000 wooden sleepers are required. Each one is supposed to be 14 feet in length. But in reality this is not so. Most of them are short in length by six inches or so.
If payment is to be made on the basis of the actual length of 14 feet, one may say that the sleepers actually received would be less lengthwise-six inches short per sleeper. But the payment will be released for 18,000 sleepers of 14 feet each.
If this is indeed happening, it could not be possible without connivance between the corrupt elements among the administrative staff and the contractors. Will this allegation be verified and checks imposed?
As far as road-building contracts are concerned, any deal of Rs two crore and above requires the contractor or the firm to have foolproof arrangements for water, stone-chips, plant to mix stone dust, hot-mix plant, roller, compressor machine for road cleaning, a laboratory on the spot to check the quality of work being done and private engineers to supervise the construction work. But are all these norms being followed by all concerned? Apparently not.
This is because, according to a report, contracts are sometimes given in a hurry without verifying the details of the facilities a contractor has to provide. A report says that work on Naini Feeder road, Arail Ghat Road has come to a halt. The Naini Feeder Road is 2.7km long. The expenditure will come to Rs 3.77 crore per km. The Arail Ghat Road is 2.75 km and expenditure per km is Rs 2.36crore the Jal Nigam had done its work by digging up the road. How soon the work will be completed is anybody’s guess.
A report says that at the time of signing contracts the contractors make false declarations. In fact some let out their work to sub-contractors. The report alleges that the firm or firms making the above roads are fulfilling none of the formalities and do not possess any of the provisions which they should. Hence they have to depend on things like hot-mix plant, rollers, compressor machines etc on other firms. And they extend these facilities to them at their convenience.
This is the cause of the delay. But Monsoons won’t wait for their convenience. It will play havoc with the roads and the sufferers will be the general public. There should be a thorough inquiry to find out how many other roads are being repaired or laid by sub-contractors and not the original contractors who had given various undertakings and made various declarations. They should be declared defaulters, their payment withheld and those assigning them contracts should face departmental inquiries and punished if necessary. Penalty should be imposed on those who have not fulfilled the conditions of the contracts signed. Unless strong action is taken, there will be no end to these types of frauds.