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Chennai: KP Park contractor received nearly Rs 1 crore incentive, alleges NGO
The firm that built the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board tenement at KP Park, which triggered a political controversy and allegations of scam over the shoddy construction work, was paid an incentive of nearly Rs one crore for building it with “exceptional quality”, revealed a document released by a city-based anti-corruption organisation here on Monday.
“A bonus of one per cent of the construction cost, which is Rs 90.91 lakh, has been handed over to the contractor supposedly for building the KP Park building with ‘exceptional quality’ on August 12, 2020, along with the settlement of the final bill,” said Jayaram Venkatesan, convenor of the organisation, Arappor Iyakkam, in the representation sent to Chief Minister MK Stalin, Minister TM Anbarasan and senior officials, including Chief Secretary V Irai Anbu.
The decision to reward PST Engineering Construction that built the structure was not only questionable but also illegal, because there is no such provision to increase the amount approved in the tender. “Therefore, such bonus to the contractor is illegal in the first place,” the organisation added.
This is particularly so because the contractor has built a very poor quality, sub-standard housing as established by the Centre for Urbanisation, Buildings and Environment (CUBE) of the IIT-Madras, Jayaram said. The experts were appointed by the State government to study the quality of construction after the photos and videos of the crumbling plaster led to a major controversy.
He pointed out that the inference from the IIT CUBE report was that all the buildings at the site have to be re-plastered, as more than 90 per cent of the plastering is below acceptable standards.
However, though the panel had reported that the construction was substandard, the State government was yet to take any credible departmental action against the officials who were involved in the construction of the tenements, the organisation pointed out.