In what could be a death knell in AAP's much touted "Education Model", a 2.5 year old Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) report has emerged that points to grave financial irregularities in the construction of additional classrooms in Delhi government schools.
The report, which found gross irregularities and procedural lapses in construction of additional classrooms was sent by the CVC to the vigilance secretary in February 2020, seeking comments for further investigation and action.
However, the Delhi government suppressed the report.
On Friday (26 August), Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena sought a report from the chief secretary over a delay of more than 2.5 years in acting on the CVC report.
"The L-G has taken a serious view of this inordinate delay that appears to be an obvious attempt at covering up gross malpractice pointing towards corruption, apart from violating relevant clauses of the CVC manual. The LG Secretariat had received a complaint enclosing a copy of the CVC communication to the Directorate of Vigilance," sources at the L-G office told PTI.
The CVC had received a complaint in July 2019 regarding irregularities and cost overrun in construction of additional classrooms in Delhi government schools.
Delhi BJP MLA Vijender Gupta, who had lodged the complaint in July 2019, demanded that corruption in construction of classrooms should be probed by the CBI and action taken against Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who holds the education portfolio.
According to the findings in the CVC report, the cost of constructing additional classrooms escalated to the extent of Rs 326.25 crore, which is 53 per cent higher than the awarded amount of tender.
This escalated cost was utilised for the construction of only 4,027 classrooms against 6,133 that were to be constructed. In 194 schools, 1,214 toilets were constructed against the requirement of 160 toilets at an extra expenditure of approximately Rs 37 crore. Toilets were also counted and projected as classrooms, the report pointed.
"The sanctioned amount for these projects was Rs 989.26 crore, the award value of all tenders was Rs 860.63 crore, but the actual expenditure went up to Rs 1,315.57 crore."
"No fresh tender was called for carrying out the additional work and implementing richer specifications. These works were carried out by existing contractors who were working in other schools. Quality issues in execution of the works and a number of works were left incomplete," the CVC report added.
The AAP government has been aggressively campaigning its "Education Model", claiming it to be the best in the world. On the question of number of new schools it has built, it would quote the number of additional classrooms constructed, instead.
The latest CVC report, that the government tried to withhold, puts a big question mark on the credibility of its claims.
(with inputs from PTI)
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