Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena has sought a report from the chief secretary over a delay of more than 2.5 years in acting on a CVC report on an inquiry into construction of additional classrooms in government schools, sources said.
The report, which found gross irregularities and procedural lapses in execution of the projects, was sent by the CVC to the vigilance secretary in February 2020, seeking comments for further investigation and action.
No immediate reaction was available from the Delhi government on the issue. "The L-G has taken a serious view of this inordinate delay that appears to be an obvious attempt at covering up gross malpractice pointing towards corruption, apart from violating relevant clauses of the CVC manual. The LG Secretariat had received a complaint enclosing a copy of the CVC communication to the Directorate of Vigilance," sources at the L-G office said.
The CVC had received a complaint in 2019 regarding irregularities and cost overrun in construction of additional classrooms in Delhi government schools. Delhi BJP MLA Vijender Gupta, who had lodged the complaint in July 2019, demanded that corruption in construction of classrooms should be probed by the CBI and action taken against Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who holds the education portfolio.
According to the findings in the CVC report, the cost of constructing additional classrooms escalated to the extent of Rs 326.25 crore, which is 53 per cent higher than the awarded amount of tender. "This escalated cost was utilised for the construction of only 4,027 classrooms against 6,133 that were to be constructed. In 194 schools, 1,214 toilets were constructed against the requirement of 160 toilets at an extra expenditure of approximately Rs 37 crore. Toilets were also counted and projected as classrooms by the Delhi government," a source said.
"The sanctioned amount for these projects was Rs 989.26 crore, the award value of all tenders was Rs 860.63 crore, but the actual expenditure went up to Rs 1,315.57 crore. No fresh tender was called for carrying out the additional work and implementing richer specifications.These works were carried out by existing contractors who were working in other schools. Quality issues in execution of the works and a number of works were left incomplete," the source added.