To make its then director general of police ‘comfortable’, cash-strapped Punjab Police Housing Corporation allegedly spent over Rs 85 lakh on renovation, temporary structures, including fabricated huts, landscaping, generator, furniture, gadgets and electrical fittings. Three weeks after former Punjab DGP PS Gill vacated house number 500 in Chandigarh’s Sector 16 following eviction orders of the Chandigarh Administration, Punjab Director General of Police Sumedh Singh Saini has ordered a probe into what was the total expenditure on renovation and whether it was authorised.
The corporation is not only believed to have spent public money recklessly, it also “extracted” it with vengence once Gill moved out. Now the Punjab Police chief wants to know under what circumstances did the corporation order the removal of fittings it earlier spent so lavishly on.
“Since I live in the same row, I had personally gone there and was apalled to see the damage. There is a civilised way to do things. If some temporary fabricated structures had been erected, they could have dismantled them. You don't damage house to reclaim fittings. On Monday, I had asked Punjab Police Housing Corporation managing director RP Singh to send a report within 10 days on the damage. We have sought explanation on three counts. One, what was the total expenditure incurred by the corporation on the renovation and was it authorised. Second, under what circumstances was the removal of fittings carried out and third, why no liasioning was done by the corporation with the Chandigarh asdministration and the house allotment committee at Punjab secretariat,” Saini said while talking to Chandigarh Newsline.
“In any case the house was allotted to Punjab's leader of opposition Sunil Jakhar. So it could have been handed over in the same condition at the government level. Whether or not the corporation has the right to reclaim its fittings from premises belonging to the Chandigarh Administration without permission is another matter, but it certainly had no right to damage it,” Saini added.
Shockingly, to extract its iron railing — which would have to be installed again before Jakhar moves in — the corporation has damaged the entire boundary wall. To extract electrical and bathroom fittings and other upholstery, it has damaged walls, windows and doors.
Meanwhile, the home department – former DGP Gill was also briefly appointed as advisor, home, after his retirement and before he contested from Moga -- has yet to put its stamp of approval on the hefty renovation bill. It is learnt that the Punjab Police Housing Corporation had tried to justify the expense for making it "permanent abode of Punjab DGP".
As reported by Newsline earlier, when Gill was served the eviction orders, a total of Rs 1.16 crore was spent on its renovation. In addition to Rs 85 lakh spent by police housing corporation, the Chandigarh Administration spent nearly Rs 30 lakh on painting the bungalow, renovating rooms, bathrooms, kitchen besides electrical fittings and wiring. The renovations continued for almost a year for Gill's one-and-half year stay till his retirement on September 30, 2011. Meanwhile, Punjab Police Housing Corporation MD RP Singh did not respond to calls and SMSes even on Wednesday.