The Local Government Minister, Punjab, Navjot Singh Sidhu has sounded a tough warning note to the companies indulging in half hearted sewerage works in the cities and instructed them to get the works back on track within 1 month and submit monthly report after fixing the timeframe of completing the works. The minister was presiding over a review meeting of 8 Clusters with the representatives of the various companies here today at the Punjab Municipal Bhawan in the presence of his cabinet colleagues Mr. VijayInder Singla and Mr. Sunder Sham Arora besides MLAs of concerned cities and higher officials of the department.The Minister during the meeting also cautioned that if within one month the works are not done according to the expectations of the people then he would go in for blacklisting the companies apart from going in for registration of the criminal case against those wasting hard earned public money. Expressing unhappiness over the functioning of the 3rd parties WAPCOS and Engineers India Limited (EIL) engaged in financial and technical audit, Mr. Sidhu said that had these parties conducted audit in a forthright manner then the complaints with regard to the sewerage works wouldn't have arisen. He instructed the departmental officials to take due action keeping in view the performance of the audit companies.
During the course of today’s meeting, the MLAs of the concerned constituencies expressed unhappiness over the sewerage works being done by the various companies in their respective cities. Giving an example of his city, the PWD Minister Mr. VijayInder Singla who is MLA from Sangrur, said that owing to the company not executing work the people are very dissatisfied and air their grievances to him for he being their chosen representative. He also listed the problems of the budhladha city. He said that the company has not done any planning regarding the works.Detailing more, MLA Mr. Kuljit Singh Nagra said that on the eve of elections the sub pipes of the sewerage were laid at Fatehgarh Sahib whereas the main line was not laid at all. He also said that the company also doesn't possess the requisite machinery and the common people are facing harassment owing to the incompetence of the companies who have availed contracts worth crores. He further said that where the work has been sublet by the companies to the contractors there is no attention paid to the quality control coupled with no inspection of works at all. On the occasion, MLA from Faridkot Mr. Kushaldeep Singh Dhillon said that on one hand the companies in their race to earn additional profits are using sub-standard material, on the other hand there is also the dearth of required contractors. He said that if the company is facing is facing shortage of contractors then the services of atleast the locally based reputed contractors be availed.
On the apprehensions expressed by the MLAs, the minister took report from the each concerned company regarding works being done by them in each city for which the company has been awarded the contract.Warning the officials from the M/s. Shapoorji Pallonji Limited, G.D.C.L. Krishna G.V. companies, Triveni Eng. Industries and M/s Girdhari Lal Aggarwal Contractors Pvt Ltd. Mr. Sidhu said that he would never ever tolerate the hard earned money of the people going down the drain. He instructed the company to hand over the details of their works today itself and explain the finishing time of each work. The company was also instructed to divulge the info about the work undertaken by each contractor with details about the material being used and the machinery at their disposal. The MLAs also expressed apprehensions over the matter that the companies have sublet the work to the small time contractors who don’t have necessary machinery and when the arrangement of machinery is made from the other city then it leads to the work being stopped for many days.Mr. Sidhu instructed the companies that after a period of 1 month he would personally visit all the cities and inspect the works. If any discrepancy is found then that would result in him recommending the blacklisting of the company concerned but also the registration of a criminal case. He also divulged that the department has nominated nodal officers for each of the works who would give report of the work assigned to them to the department as well as the local MLAs. It is worth noting that the M/s. Shapoorji Pallonji Limited is undertaking works in 9 while the G.D.C.L. Krishna G.V. is doing works in 8 cities.
Elaborating further, the minister disclosed that the previous regime awarded sewerage works worth crores to the companies in whose work many shortcomings are there which has lead to the miserable condition in many cities. He said that the department has undertaken many steps aimed at the proper execution of the works. These steps include Geo tagged attendance of the entire field staff right from the J.E. to Chief Engineer, Microplanning on weekly basis of the works of labourers, machinery and other works, Online permissions, Increasing the inspection visits by the 3rd party and the online inspection of their reports, SMS based notification in case of no field inspection in fixed time, Conducting checking the quality of the material on the construction site, Geo tagged photographs and daily inspection through video mode, and online applications for the billing of works. The minister further said that despite the measures initiated by the department the people are not happy with the works being done by the companies and that explains why he is warning one last time that he would initiate strict action in case the work is not done in accordance with the expectations of the people.On the occasion, MLA Mr. Dalvir Singh Goldy and Mr. Gurpreet Singh G.P. ex-MLA Mr. Muhammad Sadiq, Bhai Rahulinder Singh Kukku, Principal Secretary Local Government Department Mr. A. Venu Prasad and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the PMIDC Mr. Ajoy Sharma were also present.