PWD engineers, two others held in Rs 272-cr scam

PWD engineers,  two others held  in Rs 272-cr scam

 The Ramanagar Lokayukta police on Wednesday arrested two assistant executive engineers of the Public Works Department (PWD) and two other staffers — one of them retired — in connection with the Rs 272-crore scam pertaining to construction of roads, bridges and culverts in Magadi sub-division in 2011-12.

The suspects are Siddalinga Kumar, assistant executive engineer (Quality Control Cell); Krishna, assistant executive engineer; Srinivas, retired auditor at executive engineer’s office and Puttaswamy, a cashier at the PWD office in Ramanagar.
The four have been accused of creating “fake” bills of piecemeal contracts, overlooking seniority while calling for tenders and awarding tenders for works below Rs 20 lakh. They allegedly examined the quality of about 400 works in three days and awarded the certificates.

The scam was initially estimated at about Rs 600 crore. After examination of records, it is now pegged at Rs 272 crore.

The arrests were made by a team led by Ramanagar district Deputy Superintendent of Police (Lokayukta), Dhananjaya, and Inspector Anil. The suspects were then produced before the district sessions judge who remanded them in judicial custody till February 5.

The Lokayukta police filed an FIR on April 18, 2013, after a panel was constituted to probe the scam alleged that works on roads, bridges and culverts were split into hundreds of small contracts, costing less than Rs 20 lakh to get exemption from the Karnataka Transparency Act.

A preliminary inquiry conducted by the Lokayukta had established that PWD engineers of Magadi sub-division and other high-ranking engineers, in collusion with the contractors, had misused their official position to siphon off government funds allotted for reconstruction and improvement of roads for the financial year 2011-12. The Lokayukta police had earlier arrested 15 persons, including three contractors of Magadi and 12 officials. 

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