The Punjab Vigilance Bureau (VB) on Thursday claimed to have discovered a new scam in labor carts and wheat transport tenders in Ferozepur grain markets.
An official spokesperson for the VB said the lists of vehicles submitted by contractors to get tenders for the transportation of food grains included 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 which have caused huge losses to the state treasury. In this case, the VB has arrested contractor Davinder Singh, a resident of Nandeana Gate, Faridkot.
The spokesman said that after investigating this fraud in the grain markets of Ferozepur and Mamdot, the agency has registered a case under various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act at VB Police Station, Ferozepur.
He said that during the tenders for labor transportation and transportation in the above-mentioned wheat grain markets in the current year 2022-2023, the above-mentioned contractors attached lists at the time of completing the tenders related to the registration numbers of vehicles for the transportation of goods verified by the VB of the respective district transport authorities.
“It has come to light that in these lists several registration numbers of invalid vehicles such as motorcycles, jeeps, tractors etc. were attached, while the food grains could not be transported on such vehicles,” the spokesperson added.
During the investigation, it was determined that in addition to the registration numbers of counterfeit vehicles listed in the gate passes by the accused contractors, the details of the quantity of food grains at first glance are a case of false declaration and embezzlement displayed in these gate passes. He said the concerned employees of the department also paid the said contractors for the work performed without verifying these fake gate passes.
He further disclosed that according to the above facts, the district tender allocation commission should have rejected the technical bid of the concerned contractors according to the rules, which has not happened. But the employees involved, in concert, committed this fraud in the labor and transport tenders for the transport of food grains on these grain markets and on the basis of which this case was registered against the accused.
The role of other government officials/employees of the department would be investigated during the investigation of the case, as alleged in the complaint in this regard, the spokesman said.