PWD must explain irregularities in CM house renovation project: BJP

Project cost was increased without following due procedures, Delhi BJP chief Virendra Sachdeva said on Tuesday.

Project cost was increased without following due procedures, Delhi BJP chief Virendra Sachdeva said on Tuesday. | Photo Credit: SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA

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Delhi BJP chief Virendra Sachdeva took on Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal a day after the Directorate of Vigilance (DoV) issued show-cause notices to Public Works Department (PWD) officials over the renovation of the CM’s official residential complex at 6, Flagstaff Road, Civil lines.

A total of ₹52.71 crore was spent on CM’s official residence, as per a DoV report commissioned by Lieutenant-Governor VK Saxena.

The DoV was asked to investigate the renovation project by the LG after he took note of media reports about the work on the CM’s house.

The DoV on Monday issued notices to seven PWD officials alleging that Mr. Kejriwal’s revamped residential complex is much bigger than what he is entitled to as per the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, Mr. Sachdeva said, “How come the new CM House is much bigger than the type-VII bungalow he is entitled to? Who asked the PWD to expand the CM bungalow without proper tender or budgetary provisions?”

“The PWD had initially issued a proposal only for the renovation and beautification of the bungalow. But they constructed an entirely new bungalow,” he alleged.

He added that the PWD increased the cost of renovation work at the CM’s official residence from ₹7.62 crore to ₹33.20 crore without following due procedures.

Mr. Sachdeva also charged the PWD with deliberately creating work orders under ₹9.99 crore to avoid seeking the approval of the PWD Secretary. “The [DoV] notice is just the first step. Soon, the Delhi CM, who has become a symbol of corruption, will be behind bars,” the BJP leader said.

When reached, AAP did not offer a comment.

DoV notice

In the notices to the chief engineers and other concerned officials, the DoV sought an explanation about the “gross violation of general financial rules, CPWD manual and CVC guidelines”. It stated that the previous CM residence was demolished by the PWD without a proper survey and the new building was constructed without a sanctioned building plan.

It is also alleged that changes were made in the original plan on the CM’s directions, resulting in a deviation from the sanctioned amount.