The Telegraph
Saturday , January 4 , 2014
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Stick on engineers for faulty report

Calcutta, Jan. 3: The Mamata Banerjee government has transferred to north Bengal two senior engineers of the public works department on the charge of furnishing a faulty report on the condition of GT Road in Hooghly.

The action on the two engineers, who were responsible for maintaining the 53km stretch from Bally Bridge to Chinsurah, was taken after senior PWD officials paid a surprise visit and found that the road was cratered. The two engineers had claimed the stretch was fine.

A PWD official said the Hooghly engineers had been given a “punishment posting”.

“The government has taken stern action against the two for submitting a faulty report. Engineers who work on roads consider a posting in north Bengal a punishment as maintaining roads there is a tough task mainly because of adverse weather conditions,” the official said.

The state PWD had a few months ago put on compulsory waiting two engineers for allegedly tweaking tender norms and using substandard material for repairing two national highway stretches.

Officials today said the two Hooghly engineers — Soumitra Chakravorty and Partha Sarathi Sinha — did not utilise funds sanctioned for the repair of the Bally Bridge-Chinsurah stretch. Executive engineers in the districts had each been allotted at least Rs 50 lakh for carrying out repairs on important roads.

“Given the clout of the engineers’ association, it was not easy to take such a stern step,” an official said.

He said the action was in keeping with the government’s “zero tolerance for non-performers”. In a cabinet reshuffle last week, two key portfolios were taken away from Partha Chatterjee apparently because of non-performance.

Sources said PWD secretary Indevar Pandey and chief engineer Karoon Dey had received several complaints about the GT Road stretch in Hooghly.

On January 1, Pandey and Dey paid a surprise visit and found the entire stretch “pathetic”.

Chakravorty, the superintendent engineer of the PWD’s western circle-II, and Sinha, the executive engineer of the PWD’s Hooghly division, were showcaused on the spot. Yesterday, they were told to relinquish their charges.

The two engineers could not be contacted.