Thursday, April 25, 2024

Irregularities in P.W.D. concerns govt.


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Reports of “serious (financial) irregularities and unauthorized purchases” in some of the Divisions of the Public Works Department of Meghalaya are causing concern to the State Govt.

In a recent circular, the State PWD Secretary has cautioned all Superintending Engineer’s against overstepping their financial limits. The circular instructed the officers that “no materials should be purchased charging to stock.” It also directed them to educe “heavy expenditure” against suspense head and also to stop `excess over the authorized stock limit.”

The directive further says that all SEs should check and scrutinize monthly purchase statements. The direct purchases should be “absolute minimum”.

Sources said that there were concrete evidences of unauthorized purchases in the Jowai and Tura PWD Divisions. In one specific case, in 1980-81 the then Superintending Engineer of the Jowai Division had purchased excess materials of over Rs. 1 crore. The materials included among other items leakproof agent and thermometers.

The Govt. had set up an official enquiry body which pinpointed some glaring irregularities. The report was sent to the officer concerned for his explanation. The explanations are being examined by yet another committee constituted recently drawn from middle-management officers of PWD and Finance Departments. The State Enquiry Officer has also been entrusted to conduct a probe into the matter, sources added.

The Cabinet Secretariat recently examined the question of making payment to the pending bills of that period amounting to over Rs. 23 lakhs. Sources said that the payment has been withheld pending submission of report by a team of officials about the quality and present condition of the materials.


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