BJP smells 'scam' in BRT demolition, complains to ACB

BJP smells 'scam' in BRT demolition, complains to ACB

BJP MLA O P Sharma has filed a complaint with the Anti-Corruption Branch alleging a “scam” of nearly Rs 15 crore in the Delhi government project to dismantle the 6.2 km BRT corridor in south Delhi.

Sharma and Vivek Garg, another BJP leader and RTI activist, in a joint complaint have sought registration of cases for cheating, criminal breach of trust, corruption and misappropriation against Public Works Department Minister Satyendar Jain, officials and the demolition contractor.

Prosecution under Sections 9/8 of the Prevention of Corruption Act was also sought for the “pre-planned conspiracy” hatched by Jain.

Scrap value

The BJP legislator’s complaint alleged that the scrap taken away by the demolition contractor was worth crores of rupees and the PWD did not question the contractor on the issue of “profit” made by him through this.

Officials in the Aam Aadmi Party government  denied any wrongdoing and a close aide of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called the complaint the latest Bharatiya Janata Party “gimmick involving LG-controlled ACB”.

Vivek Garg said an amount of Rs 10.97 crore for the demolition project was sanctioned by the transport department for the PWD “subject to the condition that all the required codal formalities as per General Financial Rules and the CPWD manual”.

The minister is himself a former CPWD engineer and despite his experience there is virtually no mention of the “scrap value of salvage” in the tender documents, said Garg.

Garg said in the complaint: “Huge quantity of steel, iron and other metals, costing crores of rupees, were removed and taken by the contractor for which the contractor was, in fact, supposed to pay to PWD...”
Instead of taking money from the contractor for the government treasury, the nexus of corrupt politicians, officers and contractors managed to make crores by taking away the steel, iron and other material following the dismantling of the BRT corridor, the complaint said.

Apart from this, a big payment of Rs 10.97 crore was made to the contractor, causing huge loss to the exchequer, said the complaint.
  The complaint alleged a “pre-planned conspiracy was hatched by the Minister, officers and contractors to misappropriate/loot the hard earned public money which is a matter of deep investigation”.

Citing details collected through a Right to Information application, Garg said: “There is massive corruption in the whole game of contract for which the accused are liable to be investigated and punished, as per law. The Minister/officers abused their official positions and influenced the contactors to obtain wrongful gains.”

He said the demolition task, launched on January 20, was supposed to be a job of a few days and a payment of Rs 10.97 crore for such a short-duration demolition raised suspicion.

“Like in many famous scams i.e. coal, 2G spectrum, Agusta Westland Helicopters etc, terms in awarding the contracts were tweaked in such a manner that the work order goes to the pre-decided contractor so that hard earned public money could be looted, jointly by the accused against the national interest,” said the complaint.

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