Announcing this at a a press conference at the Chief Minister’s secretariat, N Biren pointed out that his government is mandated to expose corruption, however inquiries on certain issues takes time. He read out the final report of the scam in installation of traffic signal lights. His government had instituted an inquiry committee on April 1 to ascertain facts in the regard. The committee found out that prescribed procedure, established norms and existing rules were not observed scrupulously in the supply and installations. The final report said that undue favouritism was given wilfully to the single company which applied for the tender of signal light installation.
Only one single company applied and there was no fair competition, the company submitted the rate which it made up and dictated all the terms. The cost was also calculated with a pre-disposed mind to spend all available money for lesser number of traffic lights installed rather than discovering the cost by way of fair competition and existing market rates, the report said.
On inquiry by the committee, the involved officials have categorically admitted these facts. The way procurements were made led to wrongful loss of public money by way of apparent over-invoice. Further, the equipment and materials were sub-standard. The source of the traffic lights was changed from solar to hybrid without any notice.
On prima facie, lapses on the following officers were found. They are identified as section officer of PWD electrical, S Lokendro Singh, Kh Yaima (EE/ ED-1), Y Devendra Singh (SE/electrical circle), W Kesho Singh, the then chief engineer (PWD), M Theimon Singh, the then chief engineer of Mechanical and Electrical PWD, M Lokendro Singh, the then chief engineer (PWD), all the aforesaid officers have retired. However, two officers in service namely L Sunita, EE/ED-1 and L Kumar who are presently superintending engineer (EC) have been suspended.
Another inquiry regarding installation of CCTV cameras is presently underway. The inquiry committee found many similar lapses. Nothing has been found on record. There was no tender process nor any financial norms followed. The supplier had dictated everything and it was not based on public requirement. Another highlight is that 100 percent advance money was paid to the firm and the bank guarantee had expired during the time of installation.
Biren pointed out that 2000 papers have been found in this procurement recently and that also look doctored. He said that the investigation is underway and the complete detail cannot be revealed due to security reasons. He hinted that the investigation may be handed over to an independent investigation agency. Biren Singh said the BJP led government has come down hard on errant officers who had swindled public money in regard to installation of traffic signal lights.
Source: Imphal Free Press