Early Times Report
Srinagar, Aug 7: The Irrigation and Flood Control department has finally admitted that a multi crore project executed by it in Ganderbal district has failed due to poor engineering. Replying to an RTI query, the department has admitted that Mian Bashir Canal constructed by the department under AIBP scheme in a far off Kangan area has failed as the canal developed leaks and cracks during trial.
However, the department hasn't made the details of the contractor public who was allotted the contract of constructing canal, raising serious questions. "The scheme witnessed leakages during testing and these were partially arrested, but the canal faced deposition of slips, slides and boulders which are yet to be removed. Hence the canal is non-functional and needs improvement, subject to the approval of revised DPR," the department said while responding to the RTI plea.
The length of the canal is 6700 mts and the department has spent Rs 4.14 cr on the scheme which is non-functional from last over eight years.
The department however hasn't revealed the name and details of contractors, saying the record couldn't be traced. Ironically, the department has provided all other details related to the scheme including tender notices. Well-placed sources said the department has deliberately concealed the contractor's name to please a former minister affiliated with National Conference. "The contractor, who was allotted the contract is close to the former minister. That is why the department hasn't revealed his name," sources said.
The information provided by the department also reveals the fact that it has manipulated the tendering process of the scheme in 2009-10 by publishing the tender notice in some unknown newspapers. These newspapers are unknown to public even in 2018.
The Information department had "deliberately sent these tender notices to lesser known newspapers which establishes the fact that the scheme was scammed since the beginning," said sources.
Irony is that despite admitting that the multi-crore scheme has failed, the I&FC department didn't initiate action against the officials, engineers and contractors who failed the scheme. Also, the local legislator, Mian Altaf has maintained questionable silence over the issue. Now, it will be interesting to see what action Governor N N Vohra will take against the erring officials.