ANI Photo | Delhi HC summons principal secretary over non-payment for constructing 10,000-bed Covid care facility

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday summoned the Principal Secretary (PWD) of the Delhi Government in a matter related to non-payment for the construction of the Sardar Patel Covid Care Centre with 10,000 beds in Chhatarpur in 2020.
Earlier, the High Court had directed the chief secretary to take steps in this regard in March 2023.
Justice Subramonium Prasad summoned the Principal Secretary of the Public Works Department (PWD) and gave four weeks time. The matter has been listed on February 14.
The high court passed the direction while hearing the plea of Shri Balaji Exims moved through advocate Siddharth S Yadav.
During the hearing, Senior Advocate Mohit Mathur appeared for the petitioner and submitted that the PWD has been taking time since last year.
Earlier, on March 24, 2023, the high court had directed the Chief Secretary, GNCTD to consider the fact that the petitioner has incurred expenses in providing the services of air-conditioning, donning, and doffing of the roof, waterproofing of the roof, electricals to the entire system, infrastructure for the blood banks for constructing the COVID care facility centre as per the spot quotation/tender dated June 27, 2020, issued to them by GNCTD.
Chief Secretary, GNCTD is directed to file an affidavit within three weeks clearly bringing out the stand of the GNCTD in respect of the case of the petitioner, the bench had directed.
“Prima facie, it appears to this court that the respondents are trying to avoid their responsibility for making payments towards the construction of the largest COVID care facility with 10,000 beds,” Justice Gaurang Kanth had observed in the order.
The Chief Secretary is directed to process the necessary work order and relevant approval if the case of the petitioner warrants the same, the bench had ordered.
The petitioner stated that he has undertaken the works for the COVID care facility offering 10,000 beds to the patients of the Sardar Patel COVID Care Centre on an emergent basis within 17 days.
The Delhi government took over the project and inaugurated the same on July 5, 2020, with much fanfare and publicity, the petitioner stated.
Political parties took credit for the construction of the first COVID Care Centre in the city, consisting of 10,000 beds, it added.
Senior Counsel N Hariharan for the petitioner has submitted that after the inauguration of the project, it received a lot of global applaud for being the country’s largest COVID-19 facility Centre.
He further submitted that When the petitioner approached the respondent for the issuance of a work order and preparation of the necessary and protocol-driven paper work, the respondent went completely silent and non-responsive to the claims of the petitioner.
The petitioner firm sought a direction to the respondents to expeditiously complete & process the paperwork in a time-bound manner including the issuance of work orders enabling the petitioner to submit its bills and invoices for payments for the work already accomplished/completed for constructing and maintaining infrastructure at the Sardar Patel Covid Care Centre offering 10,000 beds to patients located at the Radha Swami Satsang Beas, Chattarpur, New Delhi.
It also sought direction to respondent to expeditiously process the bills & invoices of the petitioner upon its submission in a time bound manner.
The high court had noted, “However, in spite of clear admission, PWD is not processing the petitioner’s case for issuance of work order and preparation of the necessary protocol-driven paper work because the administrative approval and expenditure sanction from the Competent Authority is still not available.”
The High Court had said that Once it is admitted that the petitioner has undertaken the work of air-conditioning, donning and doffing of the roof, waterproofing of the roof, electricals to the entire system, infrastructure for the blood banks of the Sardar Patel COVID care facility based on the spot quotation/tender dated June 27, 2020 issued by the Government of NCT of Delhi, the petitioner cannot be left to bear the expenses incurred by them subject to the verification as
pointed out by the learned counsel for the respondent for creating the World-class COVID Care Centre.
It is to be noted that in an emergent situation, Government of NCT of Delhi had used the services of the petitioner in constructing one of the largest COVID care facility, the bench had said.
The high court had noted, “The construction of COVID care facility was applauded not only within the country but also all across the globe for the commitment which the petitioner has shown towards the citizens of this city.
“In spite of having undertaken the work of providing the services of Air Conditioning, donning and doffing of the roof, waterproofing of the roof, electricals to the entire system, infrastructure for the blood banks for the COVID care facility”, the respondents have till date failed to even issue the work order to the petitioner for the work undertaken by it in construction of the so-called largest COVID care facility during such testing times,” the bench had said.
“Even after two years of successful completion of the work, the petitioner’s case for issuance of work orders has not seen the light of the day and the respondents are passing the buck from one Department to another,” the High Court said in a March order last year

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