Gadkari appoints tainted official to key position
The CVC, in its Office Memorandum sent on September 2 to MoRTH, has recommended hefty penalty for gross irregularities in the construction work on NH-3 from Vadape to Gonde in Maharashtra. Dubbing the quantum of punishment awarded to the officials involved by ministry’s Chief Vigilance Officer as insufficient, the CVC had raised the level of punishment. However, keeping aside the CVC order, ministry has appointed indicted official DO Tawde as Chief Engineer (coordination) in the road branch.
According to sources in the Ministry, the under the present posting, Tawde would have the power to look after road projects worth several thousand crores in about 25 states. According to a CVC official, as per the rule, after the recommendation of CVC, the official should be restrained from performing duties related to financial matters especially from works related to awarding of contracts. Sources in the ministry said that Tawde is considered as close to Gadkari. There are rumours that Tawde would be elevated to ADG Roads. Tawde has also served in the NHAI of Mumbai division as CGM.
Earlier, it was NHAI which had overruled the CVC advice that penal action be initiated against Tawde in 2012. At that time, ignoring CVC’s recommendations NHAI had issued a no-objection certificate clearing the official’s eligibility for the post of member (PPP) and member (Technical) in the body, which are joint secretary-level posts. Despite several attempts to contact Alkesh Kumar Sharma, the joint secretary (administration) and the concerned officials in the ministry, no one was available