Two Goa officials booked for graft in irrigation work
Two officials of Goa's water resources and accounts departments have been booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act for allowing a Gujarat-based firm to fraudulently access a hefty bank guarantee, an official said Friday.
The private firm was allowed the access even before executing a contract for constructing an embankment for an irrigation canal, the official said.
The complaint was filed by Chief Engineer S.T. Nadkarni on Friday and dates to a contract tendered in 2008, when a Congress-led coalition government was in power in the state.
"The accused, executive engineer Gururaj Bhagwat and divisional accountant Tulsidas Narvekar, helped Gujarat-based Ketan Construction Pvt Ltd by releasing a bank guarantee worth Rs.2.57 crore before completion of the work," an Anti-Corruption Bureau official said.
Bank guarantees are a pre-condition in a tendering process, and enable the government's tendering agencies to use operational leverage to get quality work done by contractors who win bids.
The bank guarantees are returned to vendors on the completion of work, as per the satisfaction of the tendering agency, but can be withdrawn and deposited in government treasury if the executed work is faulty and not up to the standard.
The construction of the embankment on the left bank of the Tillari irrigation canal in north Goa, which had been assigned to Ketan Construction, caved in time and again over the last three years, halting water distribution and putting farmers dependant on the canal in a quandary.
(Posted on 24-01-2014)
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