Bhopal: The Water Resources Department has scrapped the conditions of seven tenders at the behest of former chief secretary M Gopal Reddy.
When it was done, Reddy was the additional chief secretary of the department.
A sum of Rs 877 crore was given to the contractors by revoking the tender conditions.
The then engineer-in-chief of the department and present member engineer of Narmada Valley Development Authority, Rajeev Suklikar and WRD chief engineer Girish Mishra blamed Reddy for the irregularity.
Suklikar said to Free Press on Tuesday that he had done everything after getting instructions from the administration.
By the word administration he meant that the conditions of tender had been changed following Reddy’s directives, Suklikar said.
Suklikar said he had requested Reddy to get recommendations for the proposal for repealing the tender conditions. A copy of the letter issued by the department was sent to Reddy, Suklikar said, adding that he and other officers did not agree to the proposal.
As only one person does not take such a big decision, and as the government was ready to go ahead with the proposal, it was possible to change the tender conditions, he said.
According to Mishra, the proposal for repealing the conditions was received from the office of chief engineer in Sagar.
Mishra further said he had sent the proposal to the engineer-in-chief who, after a discussion with Reddy, issued the order for repealing the tender conditions.
According to Mishra, conditions were revoked to boost the pace of the work.
Mishra also accepted that the repealing of tender conditions was a mistake.
Permission for abolishing tender conditions should have been obtained from the authorities that approved the tenders, Mishra said.
Scrapping of payment schedule terms comes under irregularity
The Water Resources Department, after a preliminary inquiry into the case, has accepted that scrapping of conditions for payment schedule also comes under irregularity. The officials concerned with the projects made payment for the equipment required for pressurized pipe work. It was done even before the work of the dam had begun. Because of the advance payment, three of the seven contractors got the funds, though the work has yet to begin.
Meeting of contractors called
There is a big noise in the Water Resources Department, too, because the payment for equipment was made even before the beginning of the work. Minister of Water Resources Department, Tulsi Silawat, reviewed such cases on Tuesday. The contractors have also been called for two days so that the work does not suffer.