Srinagar: The Crime Branch of Jammu and Kashmir Police on Thursday conducted raids at various places in Kashmir in connection with scams worth crores of rupees in J&K Projects Construction Corporation (JKPCC).
Official sources said that the Crime Branch carried out raids at several places, including the apple township of Sopore in Baramulla, Ganderbal and Nishat in Srinagar on Thursday.
J&K administration in April 2019 handed over the investigation of scams in JKPCC to Crime Branch, which has so far conducted several raids across the valley and collected various incriminating material in connection with the fraud.
They said that this was a major step towards eradication of corruption in the organization, stopping and eliminating backdoor appointments and bringing in a culture of transparency, probity and efficiency.
The government appointed a fact finding committee to look into all these allegations after receiving numerous complaints about the functioning of JKPCC, particularly relating to corruption in civil contracts, illegality in appointments at multiple levels and excessive cost and time overruns.
‘The committee looked into the manner of awarding contracts to contractors often on a nomination basis without following transparent tendering procedures, diverting funds from one project to another leading to a large number of incomplete projects,’ they said.
Apart from these, it also looked into irregularities in appointments at various levels, including that of the Managing Director, inefficiency in functioning and huge time and cost overruns in project implementation, reasons for estimates for construction being much higher than those of the PWD.
They said the committee submitted a voluminous report bringing out in detail large irregularities in the operation of the JKPCC and recommended on improving the organization. ‘There are many elements in the findings and observations in the report which are quite alarming and a cause of serious concern,’ the committee said in its report.
For an organisation which is over 50 years old, its operations seem to be riddled with ad-hoc functioning, absence of rules and a lack of systematic procedures, it said.
Keeping in view the seriousness of the matter and the findings of the committee, the government decided a probe by crime branch into execution of construction works and irregular procedures in violation of government orders, they added.