Vigilance department seeks probe into construction of 2,405 classrooms

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Vigilance department seeks probe into construction of 2,405 classrooms

A vigilance directorate recommended a detailed investigation by a specialized agency into the construction of 2,405 classrooms for Delhi government schools, claiming it involved a scam of Rs 1,300 crore.

The Delhi government's vigilance directorate submitted a report to the chief secretary, recommending a probe into grave irregularities and corruption in the construction of 2405 classrooms in 193 schools.

In a report sent to Delhi government's vigilance directorate on February 17, 2020, the Central Vigilance Commission CVC highlighted irregularities in the construction of 2,405 classrooms in Delhi government schools by the Public Works Department PWD. The CVC had received comments from the Delhi government's vigilance directorate in this regard.

The vigilance directorate has recommended fixing the responsibilities of the officials of the Education Department and PWD who were involved in the bungling to the tune of nearly 1,300 crore.

In April 2015, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal directed the construction of additional classrooms in Delhi government schools. PWD was assigned the task of constructing 2405 classrooms in 193 schools. A survey was carried out to find out the requirement of classrooms and based on the survey, a total requirement of 7180 equivalent class rooms ECR in 194 schools, almost three times more than the requirement of 2405 classrooms.

In its report, the vigilance department underlined the role of private persons Babbar and Babbar Associates who, without being appointed as a consultant, not only attended a crucial meeting in the chamber of the then PWD minister, but also influenced the minister for post-tender changes in the work contracts in the name of richer specifications that resulted in additional financial implications of Rs 205.45 crore. There were several procedural lapses and violations of rules and manuals to tamper with the tender process.

Extra constitutional agencies running the administration and dictating the terms and conditions to officers and the entire administration, both at policy level as well as execution level, were implementing such directions of private persons, the vigilance directorate observed in its report.

This kind of approach will lead to administrative anarchy and chaos, besides being a serious threat to security aspects, according to the report.