Arappor seeks DVAC probe into KP Park tenement construction

Alleging massive corruption in the construction of 864 tenements of KP Park, Pulianthope, by the Tamil Nadu Urban Habitat Development Board, the Arappor Iyakkam filed a complaint with the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) seeking a detailed probe.
The substandard construction of KP Park.
The substandard construction of KP Park.

Chennai

The anti-corruption activists sought investigation against O Panneerselvam, who held Housing portfolio, and the then managing director of TNUHDB for their role, and also FIR against PST Engineering Construction, officials of TNUHDB and other departments.
“The tender for construction of 864 tenements in KP Park has been handed over as a single bid in financial bid stage without competition to PST Engineering Construction violating the TN Transparency in Tenders Act. It was awarded at 45 per cent more than the market rate, resulting in a loss of Rs 27.72 crore approximately to the exchequer,” alleged Jayaram Venkatesan, convener, Arappor Iyakkam.
Though the market rate for construction of good quality building was around Rs 1,800/sqft in 2018, TNUHDB fixed high schedule rate to unjustly benefit the contractor. It also failed to cancel the tender despite there being only one bidder at the financial stage and hence there was no room for competition. “The collusion has resulted in huge loss to the exchequer,” he added.
The Centre for Urbanisation, Building and Environment (CUBE), IIT Madras, appointed by the government to conduct an independent quality assessment, has highlighted several lapses and poor quality of construction, he said.
“Ninety-five per cent of the samples tested by the CUBE failed to meet the specification for ceilings, lofts and beams plastering. In case of the cement plastering of walls and columns, only 11 per cent of the samples contained the cement-sand ratio as per the specification,” he said quoting the report.
“The sub-standard work is the result of huge corruption that has happened in the construction of this building. The loss due to substandard work which will run into several crores of rupees needs to be calculated accurately during the investigation,” the complaint added.

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