Congress seeks special audit by CAG on ‘Smart City’ work
Claiming that standard of work quality of ‘Smart City’ is compromised leaving open doors for corruption, Congress on Monday demanded with Comptroller and Auditor General to prepare special audit of all 47 projects reportedly undertaken by Imagine Panaji Smart City Development Ltd (IPSCDL) under the Smart City and Amrut Mission.
Congress leader Elvis Gomes, along with Janardhan Bhandari and others sought to call upon Accountant General in CAG Goa but due to her absence were attended by Audit officer of CAG Sunil Kumar. A memorandum demanding special audit was submitted to him.
According to Gomes, as IPSCDL is a registered corporation under the companies act, it has to compulsorily audit its accounts and submit it to the Registrar of Companies, which they have not done. “The directors of IPSCDL should be suspended for failing in their duties. We have said that it is a Rs 1000 crore scam. No audited statements are available for any of the past years. Website is deliberately kept nonfunctional. We file criminal cases after gathering all information and may even approach the High Court for a court monitored investigation if our demand is taken lightly,” Gomes said.
He demanded to prepare and publish a CAG report of the entire period from the inception of IPSCDL. “Why has CAG not taken any suo-moto action after so many incidents of corruption, accidents occurred while carrying out work of Smart City Project in Panaji,” he questioned.
“We have asked to prepare a special audit of smart city projects as public money is involved in it. We will approach the High Court if nothing gets done in this case,” he said.
He also said that they will give a memorandum to the Registrar of Companies in this regard.
Janardhan Bhandari said that since last 7 years the work is going on and no audit has been done. “Accidents are taking place while work is being carried out. This work is done by spending public tax payers money. They should not compromise with the standard of work. We will fight for the cause and if we don’t get justice then we will approach the court,” he said expressing hope that the CAG office will unearth all the irregularities in IPSCDL.
Following the fourth accident in the city where a truck laden with pipes plunged into a dug-up road, on Thursday night, Congress leaders last week had surrounded the ‘Smart City’ office and raised 50 questions regarding the work going on at a snail’s pace.
“No responsible officer is present in this office. We have learnt that they never visit the office. Hence, people are suffering due to the slow progress of work. This is nothing but a scam of Rs 1,000 crore. The BJP is smartly looting money out of the smart city project,” Elvis Gomes had said.
Youth Congress leader Vyas Prabhuchodnekar and others were also present.