Special audit ordered for Chandigarh’s projects

April 7th, 2009 - 11:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, April 7 (IANS) In a major embarrassment for Chandigarh’s Administrator S.F. Rodrigues, the home ministry has ordered a special audit of all infrastructure projects in the union territory (UT), officials said here Tuesday.
Rodrigues, who is also the Punjab governor, was in recent months pushing to get executed the projects, running into billions of rupees.

The home ministry has also ordered the administration here to put all land acquisitions in the city on hold. The administration has been directed to get all proposals vetted by the coordination committee and the administrator’s advisory council.

The stern directives from the ministry are being seen in administration circles as a direct fallout of the confrontation between Administrator Rodrigues and Adviser to the UT Administrator (chief secretary rank) Pradip Mehra over controversial infrastructure projects.

Following the spat over the projects between the two top UT functionaries, Rodrigues took away Mehra’s powers to write annual confidential reports (ACRs) of senior UT officials and even ordered allegedly flimsy probes against him on the basis of fake complaints.

The ministry has directed that the special audit of all infrastructure projects under consideration of the UT administration here would be done by the ministry’s chief controller of accounts.

The audit will involve issues of inadequate compensation to farmers for land acquisition, complaints about exemption, violations of prevailing rules where land was sold to private buyers or companies, allotment of land to IT park projects and the status about three major projects - Medi-City, Film City and Theme-cum-Amusement Park.

The special audit has been ordered to see whether a transparent and non-discriminatory process was followed in allotting government land and properties in consonance with the rules applicable.

These projects are already under investigation by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), which is looking into alleged discrepancies in these projects.

The ministry has directed the administration to implement the National Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy, 2007, and said that the UT should get its own rehabilitation policy vetted by the concerned ministry.

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