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Six PWD officials booked for abuse of official position in Jammu

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Jammu, May 8 (PTI) The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Wednesday booked six officers, including an executive engineer of the Public Works Department (PWD), for abusing their official positions to confer undue pecuniary benefits upon a contractor for upgradation of a road in Jammu, officials said.

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The ACB registered a case under sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act and criminal conspiracy to cause loss to the government exchequer against the then executive engineer Bikram Singh, the then assistant executive engineer Gurcharan Singh and draftsmen Sundesh Kumar Kotwal, Sumer Singh, Shiv Darshan Singh Jamwal and Atul Sharma.

"An FIR was registered on the outcome of a verification conducted by the ACB on the basis of complaint alleging therein that the contractor Avikash Choudhary in league with concerned engineers of PWD Jammu and others manipulated to get the contract of upgradation of road in block Marh under NABARD by putting the lowest rates for the allotment of contract but on ground all clauses of the tender were violated and work has not been executed thereby caused loss to government exchequer," an official of the ACB said.

It was revealed during investigation that Choudhary quoted abnormally low rates such as Rs 4.30 per square meter for Bituminous Macadam against the advertised rate of Rs 430 per sqm and Rs 0.50 per kg for reinforcement of RCC work against Rs 60 per kilogram in order to get contract. The contractor did not execute these low-rate items, especially Bituminous Macadam, he added.

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The official said that despite this, the officers released the performance security and additional security deposit kept for the unbalanced bid, which was supposed to be released after the successful completion of the work.

The executive engineer and the assistant executive engineer recommended post facto sanction for an additional cost of Rs 86,88,925 against the original allotment, and the chief engineer issued the post facto allotment and approval for the already executed excess work, violating codal formalities, the official said.

The investigation found discrepancies in rates, excess quantity and other violations of allotment and agreement.

The officers, by abusing their official positions and colluding with the contractor, conferred undue pecuniary benefits upon him for their ulterior motives. PTI AB AS AS

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