WITH THE Amarnath Yatra a month away, the development of dormitories for pilgrims en route at Ramban has come to a halt following alleged detention of two senior engineers of the Central Public Works Division (CPWD) by the Jammu and Kashmir Police, on the orders reportedly of the Principal Secretary to Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha.
The CPWD engineers’ associations have alleged that Government Engineer (Civil) R Ok Mattu and Assistant Engineer (Civil) Rizwan Alam have been detained for over 10 hours on Might 25 on the orders of Principal Secretary Nitishwar Kumar, who is taken into account the right-hand man of Sinha and holds cost because the Chief Government Officer of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), in addition to Principal Secretary, Energy Improvement Division.
Whereas Ramban District SP Mohita Sharma refused to say something on the matter, Kumar didn’t reply to repeated calls and messages. The 2 CPWD engineers’ associations — Central Engineering Service Group A (Direct Recruits) Affiliation and Central PWD Engineers Affiliation — have additionally written individually to Union Minister for Housing and City Affairs Hardeep Puri and Lt Governor Sinha searching for motion in opposition to each Kumar and SP Sharma.
CPWD Superintending Engineer Mohan Lal instructed The Sunday Specific that because the Might 25 incident, “Nobody, together with engineers, contractors and labourers, are ready to go to the development web site. In my standing report, I’ve conveyed to the authorities the detention of our engineers by police and likewise the suspension of labor on the web site.”
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An Uttar Pradesh-cadre IAS officer, Nitishwar Kumar is on deputation to Jammu and Kashmir. He had arrived in Ramban on Might 25 morning for scheduled inspection of the progress of dormitories being constructed by the CPWD for Amarnath pilgrims. In keeping with a number of sources, Kumar took objection to the work being incomplete and CPWD Government Engineer (Civil) R Ok Mattu not being obtainable on the web site.
Earlier than he left for Banihal for inspection there, he reportedly verbally instructed the Ramban SP, who was accompanying him, to arrest or detain Mattu, together with Assistant Engineer (Civil) Rizwan Alam. Whereas Alam, who was current, was detained from the location, Mattu was held whereas on his manner over.
Y Ok Tomer, the vice-president of the Central PWD Engineers’ Affiliation, instructed The Sunday Specific that the 2 engineers have been saved first on the Ramban Police Station for practically eight hours, starting 12 midday, after which shifted to a authorities visitor home. They have been launched round 10.30 pm.
The identical day, Superintending Engineer, Jammu circle, Mohan Lal despatched a letter to UT Chief Secretary Arun Kumar Mehta, with copies to the Director Common of Police, Principal Secretary to L-G (Niteshwar Kumar), the Officer on Particular Obligation to the L-G, and CPWD Director Common, amongst others, detailing what had occurred.
Mohan Lal wrote that they weren’t conveyed the time of the scheduled go to of Kumar until two-and-a-half hours earlier than his arrival. He mentioned on receiving the knowledge, he left instantly for Ramban, however couldn’t attain on time “because of journey time of 130 km within the hill space and landslides, as his workplace is stationed at Jammu”.
Nevertheless, he mentioned: “The CPWD’s Assistant Engineer together with Junior Engineer and representatives of contractors have been current through the inspection… It’s discovered that the CEO, SASB, throughout his inspection gave verbal instructions to SP Ramban, who was additionally current through the web site go to, to arrest / detain AEs / EEs (assistant engineers, govt engineers) simply on the premise of some pending petty work / gadgets.”
Accordingly, Lal wrote, whereas Alam was taken into custody from the location itself, Mattu was arrested on his manner there.
Lal mentioned that they wrote a letter to the SP Ramban and likewise known as her as much as get the lads launched, however she ignored them. In his letter to the UT Chief Secretary, Lal mentioned that after they requested the police officer concerning the causes for the detention, she threatened them with penalties.
“Thereafter, I attempted to contact the CEO, SASB, telephonically however the name was not picked up. So a WhatsApp message was despatched with the request to launch our authorities officers on responsibility from police custody. Nevertheless, no motion on this regard (was) taken, neither by the SP Ramban, nor by CEO, SASB, to get our officers launched even after… about 8 hours, which is a severe matter and extremely unconstitutional (unlawful detention of presidency officers whereas performing their duties),” he wrote, including that there have been prescribed guidelines and procedures to take care of any lapses on the a part of authorities officers.
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The Superintending Engineer additionally denied any delay on their half within the work. He mentioned the CPWD was entrusted with development of pre-engineered dormitories, fabricated from metal, by the SASB in April 2021 and had begun work the subsequent month. “As per the MOU signed between the CPWD and the SASB, Rs 10.67 crore was to be paid to it as an advance by the latter, nevertheless it deposited solely Rs 8 crore (in) June 2021, the primary time, after lots of persuasion… Thereafter, all of the installments / reimbursement of fee made to the contractors have been delayed by 2-3 months each time even after (submission of) particulars by the Engineer-in-Cost… occasionally,’’ Lal wrote in his letter.
He added that of the overall revised value of Rs 47 crore, solely Rs 32 crore had been launched to the CPWD until date. “Therefore, there has not been any delay on the a part of the CPWD for completion of the work,” Lal mentioned, including that the remainder of the work shall be accomplished earlier than the beginning of the Amarnath Yatra “topic to the discharge of the steadiness quantity to all of the seven contractors working on the web site”.
Searching for motion in opposition to Nitishwar Kumar and the Ramban SP, Tomar in a letter to the Lt Governor additionally raised the delayed receipt of funds and accused the authorities of “forcing the sphere employees to finish the work with out following the MoU, harassment and misbehaviour’’. “You’ll be able to think about the high-handedness of officers of the native administration as they don’t trouble to select up telephones and reply to messages of senior officers of the CPWD for launch of the illegally detained EE and AE,’’ he wrote.