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Meghalaya Govt orders probe into procurement of alleged ‘sub-standard’ roofing sheets

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Shillong, June 24: Minister in-charge Housing, Marcuise N Marak, on Monday said he has ordered a departmental enquiry to find out if there are any irregularities in the procurement of roofing sheets.

“As per the report that I am getting, there are no irregularities but nonetheless, the complaint has come to me so I have ordered a departmental enquiry,” Marak told reporters.

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“When enquiry is completed, if we find there are some irregularities, we will definitely go for that (blacklisting of the company); and I will make sure if officials are involved, we will fix the officials as well,” he assured.

On June 20, the Hynniewtrep Youth Council (HYC) had demanded enquiry into the whole process of procurement and supply of sub-standard/low-quality sheets in contravention of the order placed by the Housing Department and to fix responsibility. Pending this, the HYC had demanded recalling of all the roofing sheets delivered by a West Bengal based company to various C&RD Blocks in the State and stopping their distribution.

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The HYC had claimed that on enquiry conducted, it was found that the Directorate of Housing, Meghalaya has procured sub-standard and low quality sheets delivered and supplied by the supplier known as ‘Hariana Iron Works Pvt. Ltd, Kolkata, West Bengal’, which usually does not deal with manufacture or supply of roofing sheets as per their Company’s profile.

Marak said, “They (HYC) have put the blame on the Directorate so I have asked the joint secretary to go for enquiry with the technical team. It will take around 30-35 days as it has to go to the entire state’s godown. So once the enquiry report is given, we will get back to you.”

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The minister further claimed that he has verified with the department and found that there are no irregularities in the procurement of the roofing sheets, adding the roofing sheets were as per specification and as per requirement agreed upon with the company.

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He also clarified that the department has gone for the supply of Aluminium Corrugated Sheets (ACS) instead of Corrugated Galvanised Iron (CGI) sheets. “CGI are heavier but ACS are lighter and much better and are more lasting because CGI sheets are getting rusted very soon. Therefore, the department has decided to procure ACS through a proper tendering process, which was done in the year 2022 by the last government,” Marak informed.

“So, the company was given a tender for 24 months, which ended this year in the month of March. Therefore, we don’t have any option but to give to them and the materials supplied by them were also of good quality and as per the specification,” he added.

Read: 4 drug traffickers held with heroin in East Jaintia Hills

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