Shillong, March 14: The pipes supplied for the implementation of the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) in Ri Bhoi district were not of the approved specifications as per the inquiry report.
Minister in-charge Public Health Engineering (PHE) Renikton Lyngdoh Tongkhar informed this on Monday while replying to a call attention moved by AITC legislator from Umroi George B Lyngdoh.
According to Tongkhar, on receiving the news regarding supply of sub-standard pipes, the department has taken swift and decisive action to ensure that the pipes that were supplied are of approved and standard quality.
He said an inquiry was ordered immediately which was conducted by the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Ri Bhoi district to investigate into the allegation of supply of sub standard quality of GI Pipes under JJM.
“In the course of the inquiry, it was revealed that the pipes that were supplied were not of the approved specifications and the manufacturer was directed for immediate replacement of the defective pipes which have since been replaced by the manufacturer,” Tongkhar said.
The government had provisioned for mandatory third-party inspection before delivery of pipes and no payment is made without third-party inspection certification.
Over and above this provision there are standing instructions from the government to all divisions under the department that only the approved quality of pipes is accepted and there should be no compromise on the quality of the materials.
On the findings of the inquiry officer, the minister said that the complainant had pointed about the weight of the GI pipes and not other specifications.
The representative of the manufacturer (M/S Jindal (India) Ltd) had admitted that being a big company and manufacturing huge quantity of GI pipes of same dia and single size, the chance of mixing coil is possible due to human error, the minister said
He said the representative of the third party inspection agency Dr Amin Controllers Pvt Ltd said that the inspection is done at the manufacturing unit and would carry out test on 50 samples for each case as offered by the manufacturing firm.
The minister informed that the PHE department, Shillong has received complaints from few divisions on the quality of the GI pipes and hence had directed replacement of the defective pipes from the manufacturing company. No payment is released to the manufacturer if quality issues are noticed in the consignment, he said.
“My department accords highest priority to maintaining the quality and standards in the procurement of GI pipes from reputed manufacturers and accordingly there are instructions to this effect that only pipes of approved specifications are to be accepted,” Tongkhar said.
“This instruction has been reiterated multiple times to all divisions. However, in course of supply, as supply of huge quantity is taking place in all divisions, there might be possibility of some divisions receiving low quality GI pipes which might have occurred in one or two isolated cases despite our sincere effort,” he said.