CHENNAI: Arappor Iyakkam, an anti-graft organisation has alleged that the state highways department has paid crores of rupees to the contractors for the works that were not executed.
In a complaint to the chief secretary, V Irai Anbu and directorate of vigilance and anti-corruption, Jayaram Venkatesan, convenor of the organization alleged that the money was paid in March. “This seems to have happened through a collusion of officials of the state highways department and a select set of contractors,” he alleged.
He pointed out that in Tiruppur and Karur, the widening of roads and reconstruction of drainage works were awarded to a contractor on March 7, 2022. Of the Rs 7 crore, a payment of Rs. 3.23 crore was done on 25th and 28th March without any work being carried out.
In another project, the department made 77 per cent payment despite no work happening until March. “After former minister MR Vijayabhaskar gave a complaint, it is learned that 4 officials were suspended. This is said to be on the report submitted by the superintending engineer to the chief engineer that the payment has been made without laying the road,” the complaint said.
Jayaram urged the government to stop all works for which payments were made in March immediately and conduct an audit by an independent team.
“Register FIR and initiate criminal action against the public servants and contractors involved in the unjust enrichment of public money without carrying out the actual work. Confiscate all relevant records of works including quality certificate, M Book, and bill invoices for which payments were made in March,” he demanded.