Lucknow: In what can be termed as a tale of blatant misuse of the powers and funds, the top brass of Fire Department provided the opportunity to their ‘near and dear’ colleagues to visit Italy on an official tour. Ironically, a number of departmental officials selected for the tour were neither technical experts nor members of any working committee.

Initially, they were not even selected by the committee for the aforesaid foreign tour. However, the sudden and surprising benevolence of the seniors got them inducted in the team.

Nearly three years ago, the Fire service department started the procedure for the procurement of Hydraulic platform. For the process a whopping amount of Rs 10 crore was approved and a supplier of Italy was awarded the contract.

However, before the procurement, a team of Fire Department was required to visit Italy for the inspection. 

The Fire Department team which visited Italy from October 12 to October 23, 2011 to inspect the hydraulic platform included Commandant of State Fire Service Training College Unnao PK Rao, Chief Fire Officers Aman Sharma, PP Awasthi and Fire Officers AK Singh and Abhyabhan Pandey.

However, many other officers who are reportedly close to the top brass of the department were also included in the team to go to Italy. According to sources, AK Singh and Abhyabhan Pandey were not needed in the team as experts but they earned a free ticket to Italy for being in good books of their seniors.

Interestingly, the company in Italy has already been awarded the contract but it is yet to supply the Hydraulic platform.

(JPN/ Bureau)