The Confederation of Central Engineering Services has written to the Comptroller and Auditor General of India to present its report (No.6) on the Commonwealth Games pertaining to venue development and creation of other infrastructure by engineering departments of the Central Public Works Department and the Public Works Department for an “independent technical assessment”.
Arguing the CAG did not have the necessary expertise to assess the nature of the works, the Confederation has said, to clear the allegations made against the engineers, it is vital to get an independent technical assessment. The Confederation has said the CAG remarks in the report submitted in August 2011 are “purely of technical nature”.
“During the course of audit also, this Confederation had brought to your notice the fact that the officers of your Department were not technically competent to examine/comment on these issues. We had also made a specific request to you to get the observations made by the Auditors and the replies submitted by the Engineers placed before independent technical experts to decide whether the observations were clarified satisfactorily or not. However, this request was not heeded to and the Auditors acted as prosecutors as well as judges,” the Confederation has written in its letter to the CAG Vinod Rai.
The Confederation alleges that even before the report was submitted, requests were made to include the replies submitted by the engineers along with the observations of the Auditors in the final report. “But even that request was ignored,” said Sarvagya Srivastava, president of the Confederation, adding: “They [auditors] did not care to even record in the minutes the discussion, which took place over two days in the Exit Conference with the officers of PWD”.
“Over stepped guidelines”
The Confederation has also accused the CAG of “over stepping” their own guidelines. In the letter to Mr. Rai, the Confederation has said: “Your officers over-stepped their own guidelines and went ahead to comment adversely even on the provisions of Standards and Specifications issued by the Director General, CPWD, and Director General, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, even ignoring the opinion of the authors of these guidelines.”
The Confederation wants the CAG to make amends because it said auditor’s report has had a serious repercussion on the morale of the engineers.
“The CAG report hurt the morale and damaged the reputation of the engineers and others who had worked tirelessly and sincerely to make the Commonwealth Games a successful event despite huge delays in starting all the projects because of various reasons beyond their control. The Engineers who stood up to the occasion and created these world-class infrastructure in the shortest possible time by working day and night were subjected to worst kind of humiliation and harassment mainly because of CAG’s report on CWG 2010,” said Mr. Srivastava.
Based on the CAG’s report, engineers were probed by the country’s investigative agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation, the Confederation has said.
“The CBI even created a special team to look into the allegations made in the CAG Report. We have learnt that most of these allegations have been found baseless even by the CBI, but irreparable damage has already been done to the concerned engineers personally as well as to the work environment in general. Engineers have lost confidence and faith in the system,” Mr. Srivastava said.