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News: State govt starts probing irregularities in MCG-22-06-2021


The Haryana government has initiated an audit of the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) after it received several complaints of widespread corruption and negligence in the workings of the civic body, officials familiar with the developments said on Tuesday.

A team sent by the principal accountant general of Haryana, Vishal Bansal, visited the city for the purpose and directed MCG’s engineering wing to submit details of tendering processes, the number of projects, type of projects, original projected cost, final cost and the status of all projects executed by the civic body since 2016.

“All support is being lent by the MCG to the state audit team. Directions have been issued to the respective departments for expediting the same,” a senior MCG official, requesting anonymity, said.

Besides the engineering wing, the state audit team also sought all records of the MCG’s account branch for the past five years.

Over the past two years, the state’s home minister and urban local bodies (ULB) minister, Anil Vij, said on multiple occasions that a special audit of the MCG will be carried out as he had received several complaints about the civic body’s functioning.

Most recently, Vij reiterated that an audit would be done during a councillors’ meeting in February. Despite calls and texts, he could not be reached for comment.

A second senior MCG official, requesting anonymity, said, “Files from both, the accounts branch and the engineering wing, are in the process of being submitted to the state audit team for perusal. The files are being sent as per the fiscal year. The entire process will take around two to three months to complete as all records will be scrutinised for spotting errors and other discrepancies. Subsequently, the department or individual concerned would be asked to explain the irregularities. If his or her answer is found to be unsatisfactory, a departmental inquiry will be initiated.”

Over the last 18 months, various discrepancies in the functioning of the MCG were brought to public attention.

In November last year, an executive engineer of the MCG was suspended for allegedly paying the entire project cost of â‚¹47.50 lakh to a contractor for fixing potholes and re-carpeting roads in Ward 34, even though work had not started on-ground. As per the Haryana Municipal Corporation Act, a contractor can only be paid the final amount after a project has been completed or the running costs for it.

In September last year, a contractor was found to have been paid â‚¹50 lakh, for a â‚¹2 crore project, even though only 10% of the work of laying pavement tiles in Ward 25 was completed.

In February 2020, a local politician alerted the MCG that a contractor was paid â‚¹1.67 crore, the total project cost for constructing a two-kilometre road in Ward 1, even though construction was yet to commence.

In December 2019, a local councillor alerted the MCG that a contractor was paid â‚¹35 lakh for constructing a 1.7-kilometre pathway between Khushbook Chowk and Bristol Chowk along Gurgaon-Faridabad Road, despite work being completed on only 600 metres, and the cost for the same amounting to around â‚¹11 lakh. The contractor was subsequently blacklisted by the MCG.

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