ULB committee finds misuse of Gvt exchequer in SMC, seek explanation from officials

Srinagar, Mar 12,2021 : A committee from Director Urban Local Bodies that visited Sopore Municipal Committee (SMC) in December last year in a report has highlighted the massive misuse of government exchequer and violation of the government norms for different activities.

The committee visited Sopore in December last year to review the overall functioning of SMC and filed a finding report to the office of Director Urban Local Bodies.

The committee of Urban Local Bodies in its report according to news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) said that the employees are making their attendance with a sign (P) and the salaries have been drawn and disbursed along with the transport allowances which is administrative indiscipline and violation of the standing instructions of the government.

The committee instructed that the, “transport allowances be recovered. The attendance register is maintained as per norms and checked by the responsible authority regularly. Measures to restore bio-metric attendance. Salaries of employees are drawn and disbursed strictly as per law.”

On perusal of records, the committee found that the rental of Rs 1,08,864 has been waived off in respect of New Light Hotel without the approval of the competent authority and recommended that “the particular of the officers/ officials, who have processed the case of waving of rentals be furnished to this Directorate for further action as warranted under rules.”

The committee about the misappropriation of funds and financial losses said that “The financial losses suffered by the municipality in the shape of loss of twin-type dustbins be recovered from the said contractor under and intimation to this Directorate. The amount retained by the storekeeper since months be recovered immediately from him and he may be placed under suspension.”

“Reasons may be explained as to why the procurement has been made through tendering/ quotations, instead of GeM portal. The house dustbins are utilized properly for the purpose for which these have been procured,” the committee instructed.

About the amount of Rs 30,81,664 incurred for the dumping site at Dhar Nambal basis of administrative approval no. MC/SPR/20/987-88 dated 21.07.2020 issued in pursuance of the resolution passed by the council, the committee found that it has never been passed and even the despatch numbers seem to have been managed/ inserted in the despatch register later and instructed that before the cancellation of administrative approval is initiated, “reasons maybe explained as to how and why the administrative approval has been accorded in respect of the above work based on non-existence resolution.”

The committee found that the tenancy of municipal assets has been changed without approval of the competent authority and hundreds of municipal assets under sublet have been regularised by different executive officers.

The committee instructed to ” file details of all such assets whose tenancy has been changed by EO’s in violation of the standing orders along with particulars of such officers/ officials who are responsible for such violations.”

The committee sought a detailed report on the matter as to how the minimum reserve bids have been changed and what criteria have been adopted to allot more than one shop to a single person/ party and how the allotment has been issued without recovering the full premium/rental to them.

The committee recommended that a separate register be maintained for the sucker services and charges collected and the drivers of the suckers be regularly shifted to have a transparent system in place.

It instructed that the then President and Chief Executive officer of the council may explain why the President has affixed his signature on the blank pages and why the pages in between the register were kept blank and it shall be examined by the CEO of the council that why the resolutions passed in the meetings of Municipal Council have not been forwarded to this Directorate.

Referring to CEO MC Sopore, the committee sought an explanation for why the permission is being issued without obtaining NOC’s from the Town Planning Organisation as required under rules.

“Why the cheques have seen received from the applicants without completion of formalities required for issuance of building permits and why those cheques have been kept with the office without any proper G.R and how it can be ascertained that some such bearer cheques have not been enchased and swindled”, the committee instructed.

“Why constructions have been allowed in the town without the sanction of proper building permissions. The particulars of Khilafwarzu/ Building permission staff involved in negligence be immediately furnished to this office for further action course action as warranted under rules.”

The committee also instructed that the accounts officer of MC Sopore may explain why there is no proper record of G.R books maintained in the council.

“He is asked to undertake a complete suite of the G.R books issued/ utilized during the last two years and a detailed report along with the supporting documents be submitted to this office for further course of action”, the committee instructed.

Meanwhile, Director of Urban Local Bodies Riyaz Ahmad Wani on being contacted for the comments on the report told KNO, “that he doesn’t remember it this time rather can give details at the office on Saturday or Monday.”—(KNO)

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