Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Full text of Former Inspector General S. M. Mushrif's report on Maharashtra Irrigation scam

Former Inspector general of police and then  deputy commissioner S.M.Mushrif had submitted a detailed report on corruption in irrigation department of Maharashtra. He had also requested his department to ask the government to give permission for an open enquiry into the affairs of MKVDC so that many more irregularities can be exposed and offences can be  registered against defaulting officers and office bearers of Maharashtra Krishna Valley Development Corporation (MKVDC).However, matter was discussed in assembly it was revealed that his report had  gone missing and then Anti-Corruption Bureau ( ACB) once again procured it from Mr.Mushrif. However, till today no action has been taken on his report.

Photo courtsey cartoonistsatish.blogspot.com

Irrigation scam started in Shive Sena BJP alliance government ( 1995 -1999) . And continued in all successive governments. The report given by Mr. Mushrif throws light on modus operandi of irrigation scammers. He has clearly mentioned names of business tycoon Avinash Bhosale and p. venku reddy. Here is full text of Mr.mushrif's report

1)Pre-qualification of contractors. 

This was just a ploy to reject the unwanted contractors. In fact, at the time of registration of contractors, their financial capability, technical manpower, machinery available (owned & hired), works of various types executed by them etc. are verified and on being fully satisfied on these counts, the contractors are registered. 

Then there is another stage, viz. enrolment of contractors, wherein based on their previous experience and categories of works executed by them, their select list is prepared for different types and scales of works. 

In view of the above two tests, there was no need to have another screening. But in MKVDC the third test i.e. pre-qualification of contractors was introduced. The contractors were not given blank tender forms unless they satisfy this condition. The lists of the prequalified contractors for a particular work were never published or displayed and rejected were informed about the reasons for rejection only after the last date of filing of the tender was over. Thus, this power was grossly misused by the senior officers of MVDVC. The favored ones were qualified even on the basis of forged document -s, and those having good reputation but not in the good books of the authorities or having no political connections were disqualified on flimsy grounds e.g. 

a) Bhom Balakwadi Project (Satara Dist.)  (estimated cost 100 crores).

One R.M.Mohite was a renowned contractor, but he was disqualified only to favour Pradhana constructions of P.Venku  Reddy of which Avinash Bhosale was also a partner But Shri Mohite filed a complaint and in verification,  the pradhana Constructions was found to have used other firm's documents as its own. It was such a serious mischief that the company should have been blacklisted but it was only disqualified for that work

b)Dhamani (Kolhapur district) (Estimated cost Rs 50 crores).

Here again, R.M.Mohite was disqualified to favor Uppar Constructions. Shri P.M.Mohite went to court and the court passed strictures against the method of prequalification. But Shri Mohite was politically pressurized to withdraw his claim to work

c)Temghar Project ( Pune District )  (Estimated cost 160 crores).

One Srinivas Company furnished forged documents for pre-qualification. They were challenged by another firm namely Progressive Company. But as Srinivas Company was a favorite of senior officers, it was not blacklisted or disqualified; but a compromise was brought about and the work was divided between the two. 

             (In this case the tender of the third company viz. National Project Constructors was not opened at all). 

d)Many contractors furnished false work-done certificates from Co-op. Sugar factories and got them prequalified But no verification was done by the MKVDC. Even the form No. 16 of income tax which mentions the tax deducted at source from the  bills and which was the sure evidence of actual work done was not insisted upon in case of favorite contractors, knowing fully well that the certificates were false or forged. 

e) One Shaktikumar Sancheti & Co. was disqualified for Jambhore project (Kolhapur), the estimated cost of which was Rs.40 crores. But as he had some political connection, he pressurized the authorities and a tender in the joint name of P.Venku Reddy and S.K.Sancheti Co. was accepted through the joint company was not prequalified. 

f)Kudal Dam project   ( 80 crores).

This work Was allotted to Pradhana Construction Co. of  Venku Reddy of which Avinash Bhosale is also a partner by  arbitrarily disqualifying other players. 

2)Manipulating publishing of tender notices,

In the first year of the MKVDC, the tender notices of the big and important works were being given in the important newspapers as required by Govt. directions. But the publishing of the notices were manipulated in a such a way that they got printed only in 10 to 15 issues of that news—paper and thus was known only to a few selected contractors who were sure to get some important work or the other in turn. As a result, other contractors remained in dark and there was no real competition and such tender of much high costs was accepted. But in a few months this secret leaked out and there were protests from other contractors. Therefore , this practice was discontinued and other methods were adopted to favor the coterie of contractors

3)Manipulation of work-completion period.

The contractor who completes the work within 70% of the period specified in the tender notice, gets 5% bonus of the tender cost. Therefore, in order to favor the contractors, much longer period than was actually required for a particular work was mentioned in the tender notice. As a result, many contractors could complete the work within 70% of the period and got the benefit of 5% bonus, which in some cases went in crores. This was naturally at the cost of the Corporation. It goes without saying that the Corporation's senior officers had fingers in this pie. 

4)Manipulation of estimates to much higher side.

Another method  to ensure the maximum  profit to favorite contractors was to raise the estimated cost of a  project very high (at times more than double) and manipulate the publishing of the tender notices in such a way that they reach only a selected few, out of which one was to be given  the work. 

The Bhama Askhed (Dist.pune)Project work, (estimated cost 38 crores) was to be allotted to P.Venku Reddy and everything was settled. But some other contractors which were not in the inner circle got this information and they  unexpectedly submitted tenders at very competitive rates. There was a tough competition and the tender of one D.G.Patil   & Co. which was 54% below the estimated cost was accepted. But even this reduced cost is said to be much higher compared  to the usual cost. 

5)Favoring some select group of contractors. 

a)Ujani canal work 83/84  km. of Solapur District (estimated cost Rs.3 crores) was given to P.Venku Reddy company without issuing any tender  notice. 

b)Km.92 Kudals canal (Satara T)ist.) (3 to 4 crores) was given to  Balaji Agency of one Sampat without issuing a tender notice. This work has not yet been regularized. 

c)The contract of Takari Pump (Sangli Dist.)Housework was allotted to Mule Brothers & Co. after accepting their tender. But the company wanted higher rates and wanted to back out. In such a case very heavy penalty is imposed on  the company concerned. But in this case contrary to the rules and the usual practice, Mule Brother's tender was withdrawn  without imposing any liability on the company. A fresh tender  notice was issued  and the tender of one progressive construction company which was acting as a proxy of Mule Brothers was accepted at much higher rate (about 3 to 4 crores). In reality, the work is being executed by Mule Brothers themselves. 

d)Tembhu Pipeline (250 to 300 crores).

Tenders were opened in line; but were taken to Mumbai under the pretext that the Secretary, Irrigation was holding the charge of the  Executive Director and without any deliberation, the decision was taken hurriedly  in a day, Avinash Bhosle acted as a go - between the Contractors on the one hand and the Corporation and the Govt. on the other. 

e)Nira - Deoghar (150 Crores).

The contract was given to a joint venture company  of which Avinash Bhosale wns a partner by disqualifying the other contractors and manipulating the tender notice only in  few issues of news-paper. 

f)Sina -Koregaon Tunnel (Solapur Dist.)

This work was also allotted to Avinash Bhosale but in somebody else's name. This can be established only by carefully  scrutinizing Avinash Bhosale's and his Company's  Income-tax records.

6)Huge Advances without observing any norms.  

Giving reasonable advances to contractors is a usual practice in some big and important projects. But in MKVDC, all norms and rules were thrown to the wind and advances were given very liberally at the interest of 22%. The contract of Wang Project (Satara Dist.) of which the estimated cost was Rs.80 crores was given to a person who was  politically very influential via Ms avalsekar of unity asian construction co. But even before a work order was issued, he was given a huge advance of Rs.13 crores. The contractor did not start the work for a year (From March97 to March 96)). nor did he return the amount. But on the other hand, he is requesting for the waiver of interest (to the tune of 3 crores) and it is learnt that the Corporation is also seriously considering his request. 

The main beneficiaries of the MKVDC are undoubtedly Shri P.Venku Reddy and Avinash Bhosale. They have virtually reaped the windfall with blessings of some big wigs in the corporation and the government. It is said that both have declared huge amount under the VDIS, but the major portion of the windfall is learnt to have been siphoned off to foreign countries by " Hawala" and other modes and both of them have acquired N.R.I status.P venku Reddy has already settled in London. He is learnt to have a luxurious flat in South London. and is planning to start a chemical factory in London. Shri Avinash Bhosale is trying to base in Dubai. He has been  frequenting Dubai under the garb of export of  readymade garments, but his long-term plan is to make a permanent base there. 

7)0ther irregularities

a)Market Missionaries Pvt.ltd.

This advertising company was engaged for the advertisement of the first two issues launched by the MKVDC, But the company was given an excess payment of 40 lakhs and nothing Was done to recover the same as the persons concerned are politically well connected. 

b)Purchase of Computers.  

The Corporation purchased computers worth Rs.2 crores. But in order to weed out other standard companies, an unreasonable condition of Works Contract Act Registration was put up and the computers were purchased from a non-descript company viz. Mechatronics , in spite of the fact that the N.I.C. had cautioned that the computers do not satisfy the specifications. 

Next year the prices of computers were reduced by 15% following the reduction in taxes, but again  the equal number of computers were purchased from the same company only, at 5% less price whereas about the same time Koyana Project had purchased computers at 15% less price

c)Purchase of Sumo vehicles.

Shri Ashok Patil, the then Chief Engineer, MKVDC purchased 50 Sumo vehicles for the Corporation in April 1996. Though the rate contract was fixed for these vehicles, Shri Patil purchased the vehicles from another trader at a price  higher than the rate-contract, thus incurring a loss- of several lakhs to the Corporation. 

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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Former Union Minister for textile k. Sambasiva Rao booked along with 33 others in Temghar dam leakage case

It is now crystal clear that members of  all the major political parties are involved Temghar dam leakage case . Though former union minister of textiles  Kavuri Sambasiva Rao and 33 others have been booked,  It is alleged that  the company Soma Enterprises Limited that proudly received an award for excellence in Temghar masonry Dam award at the hands of Nationalist Congress Party Leader(NCP) and then irrigation minister Ajit Pawar has been being spared intentionally. Contractor, hotelier, and power-broker Avinash Bhosale, who has many political contacts is believed to be closely associated with Soma enterprises

Soma proudly announces that it has completed Temghar dam project but its name doesn't appear in FIR or any other report .Interestingly Ishwar chaudhari  Superintending Engineer of the Water Resources Department who hadn't mentioned names of soma enterprises and progressive construction in his technical paper submitted to the first dam safety conference held in Chennai in 2015 have been promoted to chief engineer immediately after FIR has been filed. Chaudhari had named only Srinivas constructions in his paper .And where about of Srinivas constructions are untraceable.

In Temghar Dam leakage case in Maharashtra, the Pune rural police have lodged a first information report against 25 government officials and nine people from two private firms (Progressive Constructions Ltd  and Srinivas Constructions)   for allegedly using substandard material and misappropriation of funds meant for construction work  at the Temghar Dam in Mulshi taluka of Pune district.The  case has been registered  under sections 406 (criminal breach of trust), 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant), 467 (forgery),468 (forgery for cheating), 471 (using forged document as genuine), 420 (cheating), 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.

Kavuri Sambasiva Rao was a contractor and owns Progressive Constructions, which has executed several mega infrastructure projects. The company has bagged multi-million rupees contracts from the governments. Rao was long time Indian National Congress ( INC)  associate and had joined Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2014. The World Bank has banned progressive Constructions for a period of 11 years( I.e up to 2024)  for fraudulent practices in execution of three road contracts of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), such sanctions when imposed do not allow the company and any legal entity involved with it to work on any of the contracts where World Bank is engaged .

All other agencies were supposed to take serious note of this development while awarding any contracts. However in India when a company is associated with the member of political party nothing matters. As well employees from around 10 banks had staged a protest in front of Progressive Constructions Limited (PCL) owned by Kavuri Sambasiva Rao alleging that the company has not repaid loans amounting to hundreds of crores.

Soma enterprises Ltd is another company involved in the Temghar Dam Leakage case.Office bearers of it being closely related to NCP and INC,it is obvious that its name doesn't figure in FIR because it . Soma belongs to Contractor, hotelier, and power-broker Avinash Bhosale. SOMA has completed Nira Deoghar Earth Dam, Prakash Barrage Project, Purna Project, Takari Pump House, Tarali Dam, Bhosa - Khind Tunnel and Approach Canal and Temghar Dam projects.And its ongoing projects Babhali Barrage , Dhapewada Barrage , Digras Barrage , R.C.C Dam across Vaitarna River and IV Mumbai Water Supply Project ( Mumbai Municipal corporation project where Shiv Sena BJP Rules).

Interestingly then BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis had  released portions of chitale committee appointed to investigate the irregularities in the state's irrigation projects. He had  put the onus on deputy CM Ajit Pawar and members of the governing council of the irrigation corporation for the irregularities in the state's irrigation projects. However now the way things are taking place it is hardly that anybody really involved in the irrigation scam or temghar leakage case will be brought to the justice.

The case has been registered against

Srinivas construction pvt ltd

1) V. D. Naidu
2) shree. D . nivas
3) smt D.laxmi kantamma
4) smt V Hema Malini
5) Venugopal Choudhary
6) shree T. V. rammaiyya
7)D Babu

Progressive construction pvt Ltd

8) K. Sambasiva Rao
9) M Rajendra prasad

Other officers related to work

10) R. V. Javdekar ( Executive engineer) 
11) C.S.deokar ( Executive engineer) 
12)S.L. Vaidya ( Executive engineer) 
13) A.S.More ( Executive engineer) 
14) D.S.Godse (sub-divisional engineer)
15) J.N.Lolap (sub-divisional engineer)
16) S.M.Patil (sub-divisional engineer)
17) R.B.Galiyal (sub-divisional engineer)
18) S.A.Pawar (sub-divisional engineer)
19)V.K.Lomate (branch engineer)
20) V.G.atre (branch engineer)
21) S.A.Tilekar (branch engineer)
22)V.G.Ganhawade (branch engineer)
23)B.M.Dhere (branch engineer)
24)V.R.Shinde (branch engineer)
25) R.R.Takwale (branch engineer)
26)T.A.Deshpande (branch engineer)
27)R.D.Patil (branch engineer)
29)S.D.Kokate (branch engineer)
30)A.V.Ghodake (branch engineer)
31) R.V. Pimlodkar (branch engineer)
32)J.Y.Suryavanshi (branch engineer)
33)S.K.Dhamankar (branch engineer)
34)A.G.Tantak (branch engineer)

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Friday, August 19, 2016

Temghar dam leakages, who is really responsible poor construction quality and bad workmanship. ?

State Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan on Thursday ordered to initiate action against contractors Shrinivas Construction and Progressive Construction for faulty work of the Temghar dam in Pune district.But  the  big question is why only these two companies are being held responsible for the leakages . Actually, there was one more company who had been awarded for excellence in the execution of Temghar Masonry Dam. The company was soma enterprises limited and an award  was given at the hands of  then Minister for  Irrigation Ajit Pawar .And interestingly nobody is mentioning its name in the entire episode. And that's why  it doesn't seem that real culprits will be taken to justice

Temghar dam has been leaking ever since it was first built. The special investigation team was also formed to investigate leakages in dam and team members had  passed hard strictures on the quality of execution, supervision and quality control aspects of Temghar dam. As well  Ishwar Chaudhari the then  Superintending Engineer, Pune Irrigation Projects Circle, had submitted  a  technical paper in The first dam safety conference held in Chennai in 2015 . As per this paper,  the main cause of leakages in temghar Dam was poor construction quality and bad workmanship. He had also alleged that the  firm , Srinivas Constructions to whom  work had been allotted had executed it very badly. However, in his paper, Chaudhari had named only one firm Srinivas Constructions and there is no mention of progressive constructions or soma enterprises in his paper. Mega contractor-cum-builder Avinash Bhosale who has links with politicians was joint managing director of the soma enterprises.

In his technical paper Chaudhari has also alleged that 

1)Upstream surface undulations and uneven slopes speak of bad workmanship and cement slurry accumulated on the upstream surface, percolated from the shuttering for cold grout masonry reveal that cement grout is not able to occupy the space between the stones due to improper packing between the stages of masonry. Large cavities show the improper laying of stones.

2) From correspondence made by the supervisory staff to the contractor, it reveals that proper mixing equipment was not used for preparing cement grout. Single drum mixer was used instead of double drum mixer which is not able to create the colloidal state of the mix. Also, use of improper grading of artificial sand used seems to be responsible for forming a homogenous masonry. The leakages on downstream are prominent below RL 669 where cold grout masonry is provided. 

3)All these lacunae in the execution of cold grout masonry have defeated the purpose of providing it for imparting impermeability to the dam body.

4)There is a provision of stage wise grouting to be carried out before laying next season work. The stage grouting carried out may not have been done effectively to achieve the required impermeability. The field test results recorded at the time of construction shows the required impermeability results however the extent of leakages defies it totally. In situ masonry cores were not sent to MERI Nashik for permeability and strength test, which will reveal real status of strength and permeability parameters of the dam masonry.

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) was also formed to investigate leakages in Dam . SIT members visited dam site twice and had  passed hard strictures on the quality of execution, supervision and quality control aspects of Temghar dam construction and proposed enquiry by a special squad and also recommended that remedial measures shall be carried out at the risk and cost of the contractor and due payments shall not be released to him.

However, the irrigation department time and again insists that despite the leakage, there was  no danger to the dam and no wastage of water. Construction work for the dam had begun in 1997. Till 2001,was finally completed in 2010. By 2006 itself, leaks had surfaced. While the irrigation department waited for the contractor to repair the leaks, nothing has been done so far. 

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