BHOPAL: A big scam of the Water Resources Department has come to light. The scam pertains to the tenure of M Gopal Reddy whose name has cropped up in payment to the companies in connection with e-tenders. Reddy was the former chief secretary of Madhya Pradesh.
During his tenure as additional chief secretary of the Water Resources Department, WRD changed the terms and conditions of seven tenders and paid Rs 877 crore in advance. The conditions of the tenders were changed after the irrigation department sanctioned them.
In the scam, the role of then engineer-in-chief of the WRD Rajeev Sutlikar, chief engineer Shirish Mishra and other officers is not above board.
One of the seven tenders is with the owner of Mantena Constructions Private Limited, Srinivas Raju Mantena who is in jail in connection with e-tender scam.
Seven tenders were allotted between August 2018 and February 2019. Tata Projects Limited was given the work of Hanota Dam and construction of canal system.
Similarly, the work of Gond Dam was allotted to Mantena Constructions and Nirgud Dam to SN Pandey Constructions.
The work of Goghri Dam and that of Bardha Dam were given to Karan Development Services Private Limited. The Sitanagar Dam project was given to LCC Projects Private Limited.
In six projects, there was a condition that payments of components of pressure pipe shell will be done after the completion of the dam foundation. For another project, there was a condition of construction of dam crust for payment of pressure pipe components. In May 2019, there was an order that those conditions should be scrapped for all the seven projects.
Because of this order, the companies who were allotted the tenders had received payments even before they started the work. Out of the seven projects, work has yet to start on three. Nevertheless, a sum of Rs 500 crore was paid in advance for buying equipment. The equipment for which money was paid in advance was not brought to the project sites.
Not only that, the land for those projects has yet to be acquired, though the payment has been made in advance.
Old order scrapped after case came to light
The scam that took place during the tenure of M Gopal Reddy as additional chief secretary of Water Resources Department was revealed in December last year. As soon as the scam came to light, the order to change the tender condition was scrapped after the agreement was inked with the companies. According to sources, irregularities committed by a few officers have also been proved. Action may be taken against these officers for indiscipline.
Terms cannot be changed after allotting tenders
Condition cannot be changed after the allotment of a tender. Changing of condition after allotment of tender is considered an irregularity. By changing the condition, the benefits were given to the companies that got the tenders. Sources said that in four projects, the amount of work completed was equal to that of the payment made to the companies. These projects have been regularised, but three projects have become headache for the irrigation officers.
Who got what?
Dam Company Payment
Hanota Tata Projects Ltd Rs 27 crore
Banda Tata Projects Ltd Rs 222 crore
Gond Mantena Const Ltd Rs 243 crore
Nigud SN Pandey Const Ltd Rs 30 crore
Ghoghri Karan Dev Services Rs 241 crore
Bardha Karan Dev Services Rs 41 crore
Sitanagar LCC Projects Ltd Rs 152 crore