Fix responsible for lapses, Himachal court tells official

Shimla : Observing as wastage of public money the delay in construction of a government school building, the Himachal Pradesh High Court Friday directed the chief secretary to fix responsibility for lapses.

Acting on a petition that no construction work has been started on the land earmarked for construction of a high school building in Shimla, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Rajiv Sharma observed: “It is an ideal case where the chief secretary should conduct an inquiry as to who is answerable for this culpable wastage of public money.”

The court’s observations came on the reply of the Public Works Department (PWD) principal secretary.

He admitted lack of pro-active role on part of the government functionaries as the cause of delay in construction of the school building for which funds amounting to Rs.40.95 lakh were allocated in 2009.

The court observed that a building which could have been constructed in 2009 at a cost of Rs.40.95 lakh would now be constructed for Rs.142.04 lakh, a cost escalation of more than three times.

The judges directed the officers concerned in the education, PWD and the chief architect to be present in the court Nov 24 to apprise about the status of the building.

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