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PHE officials sold poplar trees worth lakhs to peanuts to blue eyed contractor

Bandipora, Jul 24: Public Health and Engineering Department has sold poplar trees worth lakhs to a local contractor in peanuts at Shilwath village of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district.
Sources said that PHE Department Sumbal handed over poplar trees worth lakhs to a blue eyed contractor for Rs nine thousand only.
Sources added that recently PHE sub division Sumbal and division Sopore without any advertisement or auction sold over 40 lofty and big poplar trees. The officials cited the reason that these poplar trees had polluted the environment around a water tank in the Shilwath area.
“Instead of informing interest parties about the auction, some of the officials contacted a contractor and sold these poplar trees to peanuts to a contractor vide GR number of the receipt 36452, dated 21/7/2018,” said an employee wishing anonymity adding that only Rs nine thousand were received from the contractor.
Assistant Executive Engineer PHE Department, sub division Sumbal Muneer Ahmad said that the poplar trees have been sold to a contractor for Rs 35,000 but so far he has only paid Rs 9,000 and in coming days he will clear all his outstanding.
The official’s statement according to an employee is against the government norms. “If we believe in officials statement claiming the trees have been sold for Rs 35,000 then it clearly indicates only Rs 9,000 have been mentioned on the official receipt with a clear intention to drain the state exchequer. It is very simple, this has been done to deposit peanuts in state treasury and rest distribute among each other,” said an insider to a news agency.
Locals while demanding a thorough probe into the bungling said that culprits should be punished at any cost. (CNS)