Vellore Corporation Commissioner seeks explanation from official
VELLORE: Corporation Commissioner P Ashok Kumar has called for an explanation from the official in charge of replying to RTI queries following the issue of a “missing drain” in ward 1 creating a storm in the local body.
The issue started when P Dorai a resident of III Main Road in Rajiv Gandhi Nagar in Katpadi’s Kalpudur (ward 1) submitted a petition to Collector Kumaravel Pandian on Monday last seeking a drain channel for the area. He also told reporters that though a drain channel was planned in 2019, nothing materialized on the ground.
Imagine their shock when queries through the RTI Act revealed that Rs 9.90 lakh was sanctioned for the drain, which was completed later and that local audit had also cleared the funds.
When the issue appeared in the media, it created a storm with allegations of swindling by ‘vested interests.’ This resulted in the Corporation Commissioner inspecting the area where the project started and ended.
The Corporation also on Tuesday worked overtime to check and seek out old records.
Finally, Ashok Kumar revealed that though estimates were drawn up for the I, II and III streets in the area, the third street could not be covered as there was no way for water to exit the area and “hence the scheme was given up for this street alone. Then with the permission of the then Corporation engineer the I and II streets were covered and small culverts were also built in 6 locations in the area.”
Averring that there was no misappropriation of government funds, the Commissioner said, “Action will taken against the official who gave out the information for RTI query without checking records and facts.”
This naturally resulted in officials in the Corporation HQ becoming restive.
Sources said, “the official cannot be held responsible as he issued the reply to the RTI query based on records which clearly stated that tenders were floated on 17/10/2019 for the Rs 9.90 lakh work and that the work was completed on 9/1/2022. The work was checked by the local fund audit, it said. The above record carried the signatures of the zone I AC and the local AE.”