The Kashmir Center

Multi Crore Sand Scam Sumbal: SE Sopore terms findings Unsatisfactory, Without Evidence

The Superintending Engineer (SE) (Hydrolic) Sopore has refused to accept the findings of the five member inquiry committee in the infamous 5. 30 crore sand scam at Irrigation and Flood Control (I&FC) Division Sumbal.

Official sources wishing anonymity said the SE termed the findings faulty and without any documental evidence that would substantiate the facts.

Pertinently, the multi-crore Sand extraction Scandal in Irrigation and Flood Control division Sumbal, came to fore after civil society Sumbal & MLA Sonawari accused the Executive Engineer and other officers and officials of the division for ‘turning brokers’ and causing huge loss to the state exchequer besides endangering the life of people living alongside the river Jehlum by damaging the river banks owing to ‘illegal’ sand extraction.

The SE in response to the complaint ordered an five member inquiry headed by Executive Engineer I&FC Baramullah whereas Assistant Executive Engineer ISD Pattan, AEE FC Sub Division Sopore and Junior Engineer I&FC Division Sopore were nominated as members.
The committee was asked to undertake an on spot inspection of the sites and submit a detailed report within three days.

However, “after the lapse of one and a half month, the inquiry committee submitted their report which the SE Sopore refused to accept terming it faulty”, the sources added.

Sources in the department said that nearly five crore rupees have been left ‘unaccounted’ on account of sand extraction charges and there was no GR issued to these pavements. The documents reveal that the conditions of the allotments made by Chief Engineer on accounts of bids were flouted by the division authorities allegedly to make ‘money’.

As per the allotments made by Chief Engineer I&FC after floating tenders nearly four lakh cum of shoal was extracted from Jehlum and other Nallahs in Sumbal division during 2015-16 for which bidders had to deposit 310.00 Lakhs .

However, the GR is available for only 131.00 lakhs and the rest of the amount stands ‘unaccounted’. Nobody knows whether the contractors were allowed to lift the material without paying the full amount or the authorities failed to reflect it in GR and other accounts.

Pertinently the Chief Engineer has categorically authorized the extraction subject to the condition of full payment of charges in advance and in one go.

In the year 2016-17, the allotments were made for one lakh cum for which bidders had to deposit 377.00 lakh to the department before the execution of work. However, according to sources, only 31.00 lakh rupees have been deposited whereas the rest of 447.00 lacs stand missing.

In the year 2017-18 twenty thousand cum have been allotted for which the bidders had to deposit 32.00 lakhs but the actual deposit in the division is 10.00 lakh, the rest of the 22.00 lakhs is still outstanding.

Sources said that from 2015 up to this date, allotments were made for a total amount of 725.00 lakhs, out of which only 172 .00 Lakh rupees have been deposited in the treasury which forms only 24 percent of the total amount the department was entitled to on account of shoal extraction allotted on tenders.

Sources said that five crore fifty three lakh rupees have been allegedly ‘misused and swindled’ in the division . There are also allegations of huge illegal extraction in various areas like Shadipora, Batapora, Shilwat Narian Bagh, Near Shilwat Ziyarat Shareef, Sheikhzoo Hakbara, Nani Nar, Asham Nallah, Downstream Shadipora bridge, and Nalah Inder Khan. Sources said that the river bund opposite Ziyarat Shareef Shilwat was allegedly damaged by the illegal extraction under the supervision of the division authorities and now is being erected again on government exchequer.

 

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