Two IAS officers, 11 others booked in Rs.70 mn scam in Punjab

February 17th, 2009 - 1:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, Feb 17 (IANS) Two Indian Administrative Services (IAS) officers and 11 other state officials have been booked by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau for their alleged involvement in a multi-million septic tanks scam, a vigilance official Tuesday said.

The officials are charged with causing a loss of Rs.70 million (Rs.7 crore) to the state by sanctioning use of sub-standard plastic tanks against laid out norms.

Nearly 70 percent of the septic tanks put up in 158 villages across Punjab in 2004 had collapsed due to sub-standard plastic quality.

Under a project to provide sanitation to these villages, concrete septic tanks were first tested with Swedish collaboration but later the officials changed the specifications and opted for plastic septic tanks which turned out to be sub-standard, said the vigilance official.

Those booked include senior IAS officers J.R. Kaundal, who has since retired as secretary - rural development and panchayats, and serving IAS officer Sarvjit Singh, presently the Regional Manager of the Food Corporation of India (FCI) here, the vigilance official in Mohali said.

Others named in the first information report (FIR) by the vigilance bureau include engineers and supervisors of the project.

The case has also named three tank manufacturing companies, Aquaplast and Ok-Ply India (both from Delhi) and Syntex from Gujarat, as being the suppliers of the sub-standard plastic tanks.

The case has been registered following orders from the Punjab and Haryana high court.

The purchases were made during the tenure of the previous Congress government in Punjab.

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