Hyderabad: High-level corruption pertaining to salaries of outsourced employees has come to light in the Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board.
The Water Board officials and contractors have been hand-in-glove, looting about Rs 2.50 crore per month. Sources alleged that the Water Board has been claiming to have paid salaries to 3,500 outsourced staff when the actual number is just 1,730. They also alleged that the contractors and officials have been passing the buck to each other when questioned about the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF).
Sources in the department said that the Water Board officials had even been providing information for queries filed under the Right to Information Act, 2005. According to the responses given to queries filed by Ragula Shekar, the Water Board has been paying Rs 3,73,89,300 to outsourced staff, including skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers.
Sources said that the Board has been maintaining a standard number of workers, which is 3,500, for a decade now, when in reality, there are only 1,730 employees.
This number includes the manning operation maintenance (MOM) workers available on the field.The Board has been paying between Rs 6,500 to Rs 9,500 based on the category of the supposed employees. “We have submitted a detailed report of workers employed in 21 operation and maintenance divisions, including a phone number to the higher authorities. If Rs 3,73,89,300 is paid to 1,730 workers, each one of them would receive Rs 22,000 per month towards wages. The Board has been paying only Rs176 crore per month. Where is the remaining amount disappearing,” sources asked. They said that turning a blind eye to the issue, the Board have been contemplating whether to extend the tender period to the contractors or to invite fresh tenders.
The issue has even caught the eyes of TS home minister Naini Narasimha Reddy, municipal administration minister K.T. Rama Rao and several other representatives, but still remains unresolved. When this paper tried to reach the water Board officials for a comment, they claimed to be unavailable. However, a senior HMWS&SB official, on condition of anonymity, said that the corporation had been planning to form a committee for the past two months to investigate the issue and take action against any person found guilty of the charges. The official said that since the corporation officials have been busy with the HUDCO and ORR project works, the issue has been delayed. He added that the issue would remain unresolved until the special committee conducts a probe.