Sisodia asks CS to seek explanation from IAS officers over absence during field inspection
New Delhi: Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia has asked Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash to seek a written explanation from three senior IAS officers, including PWD Principal Secretary Manoj Parida, after they failed to accompany him during a field inspection of Signature Bridge.
The move is likely to trigger another round of confrontation between the AAP dispensation and bureaucracy which have been at loggerheads on a range of issues including alleged attack on the chief secretary in February.
Sisodia has also directed Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC) Managing Director Shurbir Singh to release Rs 26 crore for the project for its smooth functioning.
Yesterday, the deputy chief minister inspected the construction site of the much-awaited Signature Bridge on the Yamuna.
“I am constrained to point out the careless attitude of the highest officer of the Delhi government in a project which is being monitored by the Delhi High Court,” Sisodia in the inspection report.
In report, Sisodia said that notice was given to Parida, Tourism Secretary Dilraj Kaur and DTTDC’s managing director about the inspection, but “unfortunately”, these senior IAS officers, who are responsible for the timely completion of this project, chose not to attend the site inspection for reasons better known to them.
“The presence of these senior IAS officers is absolutely essential and in case they were preoccupied with some other official engagement, they should have had the courtesy of talking to my office and rescheduled the visit.
“The chief secretary should take written explanations from all these officers about their absence,” Sisodia said in the inspection report.
Reacting to Sisodia’s claim, Parida said he had sent PWD’s special secretary and chief engineer to accompany the deputy chief minister during the inspection.
“I am currently heading five departments – Home, PWD, general administration, urban development and transport department which require my presence in office. I am working on the revised estimate of the project, which will be put before the Expenditure Finance Commitee (EFC) within seven days,” Parida told PTI.
In the inspection report, the deputy chief minister also asked the chief secretary to ensure tha the matter is place before the Cabinet for a decision on the issue within three days after the necessary approval of EFC.
Recently, the CPWD endorsed an additional estimate of around Rs 231 crore of the DTTDC to complete the project.
Announced in 2004, the project received a nod from the Delhi cabinet in 2007 and it was initially expected to be completed at a modified estimate of Rs 1,131 crore before the Commonwealth Games, which were held here in October, 2010.
The bridge had obtained environmental clearance in 2011 and was set to be completed by December 2013.
The date of completing project was pushed to June 2016 and then to July 2017, which was further pushed to December 2017.