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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

Nehru planetarium scam: Cong demands 'fast-track inquiry'

Arjun Sharma, Hindustan Times  Ludhiana, September 16, 2013
First Published: 19:43 IST(16/9/2013) | Last Updated: 19:45 IST(16/9/2013)

With the investigation into the Nehru Planetarium scam moving at a snail's pace, MC councillors have demanded a 'fast-track inquiry' into the scam that has reportedly caused a `46-lakh loss to the civic body.

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The inquiry into the alleged bungling of funds meant for the planetarium's renovation had been marked on April 26. However, five months on, the only inquiry report that has been submitted by the officials of the MC's buildings and roads (B and R) wing has been termed as an eyewash by municipal commissioner RK Verma.

Congress' Gurpreet Singh Gogi, the councillor of Ward 53 and under whose area Nehru Planetarium is located, described the scam as something that was a reflection of the MC's sad state of affairs. “On one hand, the MC is cash-strapped, but on the other, such scams are further causing losses to the civic body,” he said. “The guilty must be brought to book"

The councillors' demand comes close on the heels of the MC commissioner ordering a fresh probe into the scam.

The planetarium is situated near Nehru Rose Garden here. Contacted, project contractor Manpreet Singh said the cracks that appeared in the building were minute and come in any building. “The cracks are very small; this happens when any building is constructed,” he said.

Congress councillor Rakesh Prashar seconded Gogi's point of view: “The inquiry should be completed as soon as possible. We all want to know what happed to the taxpayers' money. “Substandard material used for the building's renovation could be behind the cracks.”

Additional commissioner (technical) Dharam Singh, to whom the inquiry has been marked, said he did not have the entire information about the scam.

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