Crores pocketed in unholy nexus
BHUBANESWAR: Under new schemes, the Odisha Work Department (OWD) is hiring consultants spending crores of rupees from the State exchequer in a bid to improve road conditions and upgrade infrastructure.
But sadly, some consultants, contractors, and dishonest officials have proved to be the biggest beneficiaries of these schemes,
New schemes turn into scams in Works Dept
Under the new schemes, multi-purpose halls (MPH) were constructed in all district Headquarters for which design supervision consultants were hired illegally favoring the SM Consultants.
Prefab casting work and micro thermoplastics were used to test the durability and a dedicated cycle corridor (Infocity to Shikharchandi) was created for the benefit of cyclists and pedestrians spending lakhs of rupees.
But surprisingly the schemes are being implemented on roads that are in good condition, leading to sheer wastage of public funds.
Besides, in maintenance and repair works in the State Secretariat and Assembly, top bureaucrats’ residential quarters, huge funds are being embezzled in a nexus between a few selected contractors and some unscrupulous officials.
The contractors are being favored through split-up works and crores of rupees are being allegedly misutilized in Division-I, IV, and V.
Under Division -III, Kalinga Stadium, in Division-I State Museum, Secretariat, Assembly and Directorates, Nirman Soudha, under Division–1V Sangeeta Mahavidlaya, State Library and in Saheed Nagar, Unit 9 official quarters and under Division-V the newly Kharvel Bhawan crores of rupees have been spent for maintenance, repair. All this has been done through split-up work instead of tender.
Earlier, during the tenure of the former Works Secretary, the Executive
The engineer of Division-I was suspended for splitting works and he is yet to be reinstated, But now rampant splitting of work of crores of rupees is being carried out in Bhubaneswar Central Circle, Khordha Circle, Southern Circle in Brahampur, and Western Circle in Sambalpur.
But the department authorities are in deep slumber. Besides, some Executive Engineers have been transferred and promoted, they are yet to join the new postings. The Executive Engineer of Division-V has managed to be posted in the State capital for more than 10 years though his performance is below par.
Experts opine that a full-time Secretary can only streamline the functioning of the department, which now seems like a rudderless ship.