Jajpur: A mega drinking water supply project underway in Sukinda mining region has come under scanner after the consultancy firm was accused of siphoning funds to the tune of Rs 79.56 crore in connivance with RWSS officials.
Officials alleged Monday that Nagarjuna Construction Company (NCC), a Hyderabad-based consultancy agency, has been trying to usurp Rs 79.56 crore sanctioned by district mineral fund (DMF) for the project.
The alleged nexus of rural water supply and sanitation department (RWSS) officials with NCC officials has made matters worse.
The agency has allegedly tried to reuse steel pipes in the project works which had been declared as sub-standard by the engineers in July last. The firm allegedly connived with senior RWSS officials to obtain positive reports from the Central Laboratory in Cuttack and IMMT lab in Bhubaneswar to reuse discarded steel pipes.
Observers have expressed surprise over the development and sought a re-probe into the issue. They questioned how could the firm re-use sub-standard and rejected steel pipes in the project.
They said the engineers’ authority found serious irregularities in the project works but attempts were being made to shield the agency which is accused of paying hefty bribes. The engineers’ authority had got the steel pipes and other construction materials examined by an approved firm, MSV International.
Sources said, the engineers’ authority visited Sukinda and reviewed the project in July.
Members reviewing the project found that the agency had dug up trench of inferior material and laid pipes in violation of guidelines. The agency had also laid horizontal columns instead of vertical ones for the project and submitted the report to the engineer-in-chief.
The engineer-in-chief on the basis of the report wrote (No.7228, August 20, 2019) to the superintending engineer, RWSS, Cuttack, and directed him to visit the site and take appropriate measures in this regard.
Later, the RWSS engineer-in-chief directed purchase of genuine steel pipes and construction materials afresh and forbid use of materials from Shyam Steel.
However, the firm allegedly made attempts to defy the order and manipulated to get a positive report from Central Laboratory (R&B), Cuttack and IMMT Laboratory, Bhubaneswar.
When contacted, NCC chief manager BC Pal denied irregularities in the project and asserted the work is in progress as per guidelines.
Amiya Kumar Parija, executive engineer of RWSS in Jajpur also denied any wrong-doing.