‘EE has no power to change tender value’

SHILLONG, July 2: A day after the Hynniewtrep Youth Council (HYC) sought an independent inquiry into the alleged irregularities in the execution of the new Assembly building at Mawdiangdiang, a former executive engineer (EE) of PWD (buildings) said an executive engineer does not have the power to change the tender value.
“There are official procedures to change the tender value. The financial power of an executive engineer is only up to ₹6-lakh,” said Ransom Sutnga, the ex-EE.
Explaining the procedures, he said the office of the EE prepares the revised estimate as instructed by the office of the chief engineer.
“After preparation of the revised estimate, the CE approves it and sends it to Parliamentary Affairs Department to accord administrative approval (AA),” Sutnga said, adding that the departmental sanctioning committee then scrutinises the revised estimate and gives the AA.
The Parliamentary Affairs Department subsequently submits the revised estimate to the Planning department for approval and prioritising of the project.
The final step involves sending the Planning department-approved revised estimate to the Finance department for the go-ahead, Sutnga said. “The revised estimate along with the AA and the approval of Finance is sent to the CE of PWD (B) by the Parliamentary Affairs department for necessary action,” he said.
“The CE informs and instructs the EE for necessary action,” he added.
Sutnga said there was no approval of the cost escalation by the High-Powered Committee (HPC). The approval was never sought in the first place, as the EE of PWD (B) has no authority to, he explained.
In a letter to Assembly Speaker Metbah Lyngdoh on Friday, the HYC had said the HPC should recommend an independent inquiry, preferably by the Central Bureau of Investigation, to the state government.
It said responsibilities should be fixed for embezzlement of public funds and corruption by inflating or escalating the cost of the Assembly building project without following due process.

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