DDA suspends 3 senior officials after sting operation

DDA on Friday suspended three senior officials and ordered cancellation of all bookings for marriages and other functions in the wake of a sting operation by a private channel that alleged a nexus between the housing authority officials and tent suppliers.

New Delhi: DDA on Friday suspended three senior officials and ordered cancellation of all bookings for marriages and other functions in the wake of a sting operation by a private channel that alleged a nexus between the housing authority officials and tent suppliers.

The action comes after DDA Vice-Chairman Balvinder Kumar took cognisance of the sting operation shown yesterday that alleges a nexus between DDA engineers and 'tentwalas' regarding fake and illegitimate bookings of such sites.

"Officials of the Engineering Department including those posted in the office of Chief Engineer (HQs) where booking are monitored, in the System Department who are directly or indirectly concerned with the process of booking of sites and shown in the sting operation have been identified and the Executive Engineer, Assistant Engineer and Junior Engineer concerned have been suspended," a senior official of DDA said.

Following the sting operation, the urban body also ordered cancellation of all bookings done so far which are to be restored only on revalidation and review by the Chief Engineer concerned.

The revalidation and review will be taken up immediately according to priority dates of the marriages.

"It will be the responsibility of the Chief Engineer concerned to ensure that in no case tentwalas or any other ungenuine person books any site meant for marriage/religious /commercial purposes. A physical verification of the genuine applicant will be mandatory before restoration or before booking of fresh sites," the DDA said.

Chief engineers during review and revalidation will have to satisfy themselves that the persons who have booked the sites are genuine and not tentwalas and overall responsibility for verification will be on the Chief Engineer, it further said.

"Chief Vigilance Officer, DDA, has been directed to conduct an in-depth enquiry and ensure speedy proceedings against all guilty officials," the official said.

Delhi government yesterday had also taken cognisance of the case and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had instructed the anti-corruption branch (ACB) to investigate the matter.

The ACB, however, has not registered any case and asked the news channel to furnish details of the footage aired.

Engineering Member will review the online system right from the submission of application, verification system and re-modify the policy so as to ensure that no tentwalas is able to misuse the procedure or DDA sites, the DDA said.

According to the Vice-Chairman's order the empanelment of all tentwalas has also been cancelled with immediate effect and sites will now be available for general public for open booking.

"All the three tentwalas shown in the sting operation have been blacklisted with immediate effect and the chief engineers concerned have been asked to ensure that blacklisted tentwalas do not work on DDA sites," it said. 

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