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Chief Engineer neglect causes 10K crore loss to exchequer

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Chief Engineer (Road) neglect causes 10,000 crore loss to state exchequer. Initiation of criminal proceeding, recovery of money demanded.

BHUBANESWAR: It has come to light that Odisha Works Department Engineer- in- Chief (Civil) Manoranjan Mishra who was allowed to remain in-charge of Chief Engineer (DPI) and Roads from 1st July 2023 and allowed to exercise all financial powers, has allegedly grossly misutilized his position to commit various irregularities like in promotion and posting of Chief Engineers (CE), Superintendent Engineers (SE) and Chief Construction Engineer (CCE) with vested interests.

Besides, the EIC Mishra is alleged to have fixed tenders worth 10 K crores between July 25, (letter notification No,35421), letter (No.40552) dated 26 September 2023, letter (No. 32643), dated 8 August 2023, letter (No.30936) dated 27 July, 2023, letter (No. 34079), dated 17 August 2023, letter No. (31157) dated 31 July 2023.

Reliable sources said there was no competition among the major bidders for which the aforesaid tenders were cancelled. As per the norms a re-tender should have been done. But instead, the EIC (Civil)-cum- Chief Engineer (Roads) misutilised his powers, awarded the cancelled tenders to different agencies through negotiation. Some agencies which are owned by his relatives and in which Mishra owned stakes were allotted the projects at the throwaway prices.

Notably, in the annual State plan for the Woks Department above Rs 10,000 crore was allotted for different road and bridge infrastructure projects. Mishra utilizing the additional charge of CE (Roads) committed huge financial irregularities handed over projects at dirt cheap prices to ineligible contractors violating the OPWD Code. Besides, there were reports of massive corruption in appointment of consultants, DPRs with a motive of collecting huge percentage (PC). This caused loss of crores of rupees to the State exchequer.

Besides, in pilot projects like bridges on the Biju Expressway, Judicial Building in Bhubaneswar and many other projects, huge financial irregularities worth crores of rupees have been committed. There was no quality monitoring and supervision by the EIC.

Intellectuals said as Mishra is scheduled to superannuate within a month, a high-powered committee and Vigilance inquiry should be conducted to probe the omissions and commissions by him. Besides, criminal proceedings should also be initiated against him for the huge loss caused to the State exchequer and the money0 should be recovered for him.

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