Monday, November 28, 2022

Home State Delhi: Rs 1300 Crore Scam In School Classrooms Alleged

Delhi: Rs 1300 Crore Scam In School Classrooms Alleged

New Delhi [India]: The tussle between the LG and the Delhi government refuses to die. In a new development, the Delhi vigilance directorate (DoV) has recommended a “detailed investigation by a specialised agency” into the “grave irregularities and corruption” by the Arvind Kejriwal Government in the construction of 2,405 classrooms in 193 government schools in the national capital.

According to DoV sources, the Delhi government’s vigilance directorate has submitted its report to the Chief Secretary in the matter. 

The Vigilance Department has also recommended “fixing the responsibilities of the concerned officials of the Education Department and PWD” who were involved in the alleged bungling to the tune of nearly Rs 1300 crore.

It has also recommended forwarding its findings along with the replies of Public Works Department (PWD) and the Education Department to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) for consideration.

The CVC, in a report dated February 17, 2020, highlighted irregularities in the construction of additional classrooms in different schools of the Delhi Government by the Public Works Department (PWD).

The CVC, in February 2020, had sent the report to the DoV seeking its comments on the matter but the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government did not pursue the matter for two-and-half years until Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena, directed the Chief Secretary to inquire into the delay in August this year, and submit a report in this regard.

“In April, 2015, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal directed the construction of additional classrooms in Delhi government schools. The PWD was entrusted the task of constructing 2405 classrooms in 193 schools. It carried out a survey to find out the requirement of the classrooms and based on the survey, projected a total requirement of 7180 equivalent classrooms (ECR) in 194 schools, almost three times the requirement of 2405 classrooms.

CVC received a complaint on August 25, 2019, regarding irregularities and cost overrun in the construction of classrooms. The construction cost escalated by upto 90 per cent in the name of “richer specifications” without calling tender. The Delhi Government sanctioned cost escalation of Rs 500 crore without tender. Blatant violation of GFR, CPWD Works Manual and poor quality of construction and incomplete work.

According to the findings of the CVC investigation report, tenders were floated for the works originally proposed and approved, but later on, awarded contract value varied from 17 per cent to 90 per cent on account of “richer specifications”.

The cost escalated to the extent of Rs.326.25 crore, which is 53% higher than the awarded amount of tender.

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