NEW DELHI: The Directorate of Vigilance of Delhi government has served showcause notices on seven engineers of the Public Works Department (PWD) for alleged irregularities in the renovation of chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s official residence at 6 Flag Staff Road in north Delhi’s Civil Lines.
The vigilance department observed that the officers who were involved in planning and execution of the project violated the rules and regulations, Central Public Works Department manuals, and Central Vigilance Commission guidelines, and committed various lapses and irregularities while constructing a new building in the guidance of addition and alteration of the CM residence.”…directed to explain as to why disciplinary action should not be initiated as per relevant rules, laws, manuals, circulars, CVC guidelines etc for the mentioned lapses and irregularities,” the showcause notices read , seeking reply in 15 days.
The engineers who were served notices through the principal secretary of PWD included principal chief engineer AK Ahuja, chief engineers Ashok Kumar Rajdev and PK Parmar, superintending engineer Abhishek Raj, executive engineers Vinay Chaudhary and Shibnath Dhara, and assistant engineer Rajat Kant.
While Raj and Parmar said they were not aware of the notices, the other engineers could not be reached for their reactions. No immediate reaction was available from the CM’s office.
The notices were sent five weeks after the Directorate of Vigilance prepared a “factual report” on the renovation of the CM’s residence and submitted it to the lieutenant governor’s office.
On April 27, lieutenant governor VK Saxena had directed chief secretary Naresh Kumar to secure and take all files relating to the renovation work into protective custody, examine the records and submit a factual report within 15 days. The report, signed by special secretary (vigilance) YVVJ Rajasekhar, was submitted on May 12.
The vigilance department observed in the notices that the PWD engineers constructed a completely new building in the guidance of addition and alteration without a sanctioned building plan and allowed it to be occupied without the occupancy certificate, which was invited disciplinary as well as criminal action.
It added that prima facie, “under the undue influence of the chief minister…”, the engineers “abused their position by ignoring the rules”. While the original cost of addition and alteration was estimated at Rs 7.16 crore, the engineers allowed it to escalate more than four times to Rs 33.4 crore, the notice mentioned.
While the PWD engineers claimed the building was constructed in 1942-43, the vigilance directorate said there was no record available to substantiate it.