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Punjab vigilance unearths another scam in tenders at Ferozepur grain markets

An official spokesperson of the VB said the lists of vehicles submitted by contractors to get tenders for transportation of foodgrains contained registration numbers of jeeps, scooters, motorcycles, etc. instead of trucks and tractor-trailers.

Statesman News Service | Chandigarh |

The Punjab Vigilance Bureau (VB), on Thursday, has claimed to have unearthed another scam in labour cartage and transport tenders for wheat in grain markets of Ferozepur.

An official spokesperson of the VB said the lists of vehicles submitted by contractors to get tenders for transportation of foodgrains contained registration numbers of jeeps, scooters, motorcycles, etc. instead of trucks and tractor-trailers.

In this regard a case has been registered against three contractors – Davinder Singh of Faridkot, Daviderpal and Gurushakti, both from Talwandi Bhai – at the VB Police Station in Ferozepur for committing fraud and embezzlement causing huge loss to the state exchequer. In this case, the VB has arrested contractor Davinder Singh, a resident of Nandeana Gate, Faridkot.

The spokesperson said the bureau, after investigating this fraud in the grain markets of Ferozepur and Mamdot, has registered a case under various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act at Police Station VB, Ferozepur.

He said during the tenders for labour cartage and transport in the above grain markets for wheat in the current year 2022-2023, the aforementioned contractors have attached lists at the time of filling the tenders regarding the registration numbers of vehicles for transportation of goods which were verified by the VB from respective district transport authorities.

“It has come to light that in these lists several registration numbers of invalid vehicles like motorcycles, jeeps, tractors etc, were attached whereas the food grains could not be transported on such vehicles,” the spokesperson added.

During the probe it has been established that along with the registration numbers of fake vehicles mentioned in the gate passes by the accused contractors, the details of the quantity of food grains are prima facie a case of fake reporting and embezzlement shown in these gate passes. He said the concerned employees of the department had also paid to the said contractors for the work done without verifying these fake gate passes.

He further revealed that according to the above facts, the district tender allotment committee should have rejected the technical bid of the concerned contractors as per rules, which was not done. But the concerned employees in connivance with each other have committed this fraud in the labour cartage and transport tenders for the transportation of food grains in these grain markets and on the basis of which this case has been registered against the accused.

The role of other government officers/employees of the department would be probed during the investigation of the case as alleged in the complaint in this regard, the spokesperson said.