2 More Arrested For Poor Construction Works Of Hostels In Odisha’s Sonepur

Sonepur: Vigilance has arrested 2 more persons in connection with poor execution and misappropriation of government funds in construction of hostels in Odisha’s Sonepur district.

The Vigilance officials on Monday conducted raids on the office and residence of officials of Hindustan Steel Works Construction Ltd (HSCL). Following the searches, two officials of HSCL – Sourav Dey, Senior Site Engineer and Saptarsi Goswamy, Site Engineer – were arrested and forwarded to the Vigilance court at Balangir.

The two officials of HSCL were arrested for sub-standard execution and misappropriation of government funds in construction of 4 hostels for SC students under ST & SC Development department in the district. The Vigilance has filed a case under PC Amendment Act, 2018 in this connection.

Earlier, Class A contractor Bijay Kumar Agrawal and his son Deepak Kumar Agrawal were arrested in the case and are presently in jail custody.

During investigation, it was revealed that the ST & SC Development department had entered into an agreement with HSCL for projects worth Rs 43.94 crore. The projects included construction of hostel buildings for
SC/ST students in KBK districts. This included 26 ST Hostels in Rayagada district, 12 in Balangir and Subarnapur districts and 3 upgraded high school buildings at Gourmunda, Raska and Bijadore.

In turn, HSCL floated a number of tenders for the projects. Of these, they entered into an agreement with Bijay Agrawal and Deepak Agrawal for construction of 12 hostel buildings with agreement value of Rs 8,12,30,877.
This included 4 hostel buildings for SC students in Sonepur district with agreement value of Rs 2,71,24,207.

The two officials of HSCL failed to supervise the works executed by the contractors and, in connivance with them, facilitated release of payments and thereby allowed the contractors to execute sub-standard work and misappropriate government funds, resulting in loss to the government exchequer.

Further, HSCL executed the work without any approved design and drawing from the ST & SC Development Department. No soil test was conducted to ascertain the foundation requirement of the hostel buildings.

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