CBI in 2018 seeks file pertaining to M/s Design Associates, Noida and UPRNN Ltd

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​Questioning the credentials of the firm involve in the building of Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, Leader of Opposition Dr. Mukul Sangma on Tuesday revealed that Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in 2018 had sought files pertaining to the M/s Design Associates, Noida which has been allotted with 20 projects amounting to Rs 3,755 crore and files pertaining M/s Uttar Pradesh Rajkiya Nirman Nigam Ltd (UPRNN Ltd) for the work of remodeling and face lift of ESI Model Hospital, Rajaji Nagar.

Both the companies were engaged by the Meghalaya government for construction of the new Assembly building.

“​ I​ am disturbed by the few inputs that are available with me​,​ this is pertaining to a letter written by the CBI and the anti corruption wing issued on the 17th of April 2018 which is self explanatory, Dr. Sangma said.

The case was filed by the CBI against PC Chaturvedi, IAS (Retd), the then Director General of ESI Corporation and other unknown officials of ESOC for committing irregularities in awarding capital works, consultancy, sanction of funds without authority, failure to follow the transparency requirements and CVC guidelines in awarding contracts for architectural consultancy and construction work by ESI Corporation during 2007-2009.

Sangma said he was a little bit perturbed by this letter and said that as per the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) guidelines, there are clauses which indicated that any participants in the bid should have self-declaration against any instance of criminal cases pending against them, which in this case it is missing.

 

“Therefore, the manner in which we should further proceed in engaging a kind of inquiry which should be insulated from influence by these firms’ in other words independent means completely independent,” he said.

 

While talking about CVC guidelines he said, “You must have to determine the credentials of the people you are employing, credentials pertaining to how they have performed in the past whether there is an indication of them having been involved in any kind of compromise or at the same time where they are found to be wanting in fulfilling the requirement as professionals once employed by any authority, any Government across the nation. Now here is a matter of concern because we wanted to know who was the designer and consultant in respect of this work because here after this mishap the firm which has been entrusted with the design structural design, architectural design and also the company or the firm.”

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The former chief minister said during the meeting, he has also insisted that the process of appointing the third party independent inquiry agency should be transparent and as per the CVC guidelines.

 

“As even if we appoint a third party independent agency for going into the details, we have to ensure they are also not pick and choose by people who are required to be acting as respondents. Therefore, CVC guidelines and a process considered completely transparent must be followed,” he added.

 

He further said the companies and firms engaged in the construction of the new Assembly building should be considered as “respondents” pending the inquiry report by the third party into the recent collapse of the dome structure.

 

“Unless they are proven not guilty, we should always consider those whom the award of contracts has been given should be considered as respondents,” Sangma told reporters after the meeting of the High Powered Committee (HPC) chaired by Assembly Speaker here.

 

He said “Even those who are associated with the designing etc. should also be considered as respondents. Even officers who were on the field, who are monitoring or supervising the work on a daily basis, also must be considered as respondents (in this case).”

 

Stating that there has been cost overrun in the implementation of the project, Sangma said, “We have to find out the reason that has led to this cost overrun. Therefore, I am saying the overall findings from a technical perspective will give us the kind of light of the whole episode leading to this kind of situation.”