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Over Rs 6 crores withdrawn for no work, 2 engineers attached, inquiry ordered

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The Kashmir Power Distribution Corporation Limited (KPDCL) attached two engineers while an inquiry has been ordered against them for withdrawing Rs 6.12 crores for non-existent works in Kupwara.

The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has reported that the Electric Division (ED) of Kupwara withdrew Rs 6 crore from the treasury for the installation of 3,600 solar street lights. However, during physical verification, no streetlights were found installed.

Taking note of the ACB findings, Kashmir Power Distribution Corporation Limited (KPDCL) attached two engineers,  an Assistant Engineer, and a Junior Engineer, while an inquiry has been ordered against them. The Superintendent Engineer Sopore has been tasked with conducting the investigation based on the ACB’s report.

Managing Director KPDCL, Yasin M. Choudhary in this regard issued an order which reads: “Consequent upon receipt of advisory from the Director Anti-Corruption Bureau J&K Jammu, vide their letter no. ACB-E-7163969-4864-65; dated: 05.04.2023, Superintending Engineer O&M Circle Sopore is hereby nominated as enquiry officer, who shall conduct an enquiry in the matter and furnish a detailed report with regard to facts of the case/ recommendations made by the Anti Corruption Bureau.”

The order further read that pending enquiry Mudasir Ismail I/C Assistant Engineer & Manzoor Hassan Chowdhary Junior Engineer are hereby attached to this office with immediate effect till further orders.

The ACB found that the ED Kupwara made an illegal payment of Rs 6.12 crore to four contractor firms without installing any solar lights. In response, the ACB has recommended that action be taken against the delinquent officials, including canceling the tender and recovering the payments.

“Payment of Rs 6.12 crore had been made illegally to four contractor firms without installing the allotted solar lights. No procurement of solar lights along with has been made. No solar lights have been installed on spot. No time was given to tenders that needs to satisfy the execution of work. The entire expenditure has been made illegally and criminal aspects will be seen separately which appears as a conspiracy to siphon off public funds by the attached officers and officials.”

The AEEs and JEs of Sub Division Kupwara and Sub Division Trehgam both communicated to the Executive Engineer ED Kupwara that the allotted works were impossible to execute at the end of the financial year in just two or three days. However, the Executive Engineer ED Kupwara prepared bills for the non-existent work through unauthorized channels. [KNT]

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