A councillor’s complaint against floating a tender for repair work on the approach road to Adityapur Toll Bridge prompted the block development officer (BDO) of Gamharia to conduct an on-spot inquiry on Wednesday.
Dhananjay Gupta had submitted a complaint with sub-divisional officer of Seraikela Chandra Bhushan Singh a week ago, alleging that the present condition of the approach road did not warrant repairs.
Bhushan then ordered BDO Laxmi Narayan Kishore to conduct the enquiry and submit a report within four days. Council’s executive officer Suresh Yadav helped Kishore in his probe.
The public works department (road construction), Adityapur division, had floated a tender for surface renewal work on the approach road on July 18. To repair a stretch of one kilometre, the department sanctioned Rs 1.65 crore.
After the tender was floated, a team of council members conducted a survey and felt that the condition of the approach road was not that bad.
After carrying out the inspection on Wednesday, the BDO found the complaint to be genuine. “The condition of the approach road to Adityapur Toll Bridge is absolutely fine. I will submit my report accordingly,” said Kishore.
Executive engineer of the public works department Sanjay Kumar Singh, however, said the tender for the surface renewal work was issued as per rules.
“According to the ministry of road transport, surface renewal of any road has to be done every four years. The toll bridge was inaugurated in July 2011 and we are now in the fourth year. Therefore, issuing a tender for the surface renewal was not unnecessary,” said Singh.
Asked why the public works department and not Adityapur Toll Bridge Company Limited (ATBCL) opened the tender, the executive engineer said that ATBCL was supposed to get over Rs 1.5 crore from the state government for the loss it incurred by exempting two-wheelers from paying toll tax. “So, a high-level committee decided to do the work of surface renewal on behalf of ATBCL. That’s why the PWD had issued the tender,” said the executive engineer.
Council member Gupta was sceptical of the public works department’s intent. “We demand the probe should be unbiased and effective,” Gupta told The Telegraph.