iconimg Friday, August 28, 2015

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Lucknow, August 01, 2013
The SAT Rizvi Commission has indicted six IAS officers for the demolition of Parikalp Nagar colony of the irrigation department on VIP Road in 2008 to make way for the construction of the Baudh Vihar Shanti Upvan during the BSP regime. The commission, in its report, has held the then principal secretary, the secretary of the irrigation and the PWD departments and engineers-in-chief of these departments responsible for playing a role, directly or indirectly in the operation.

The inquiry panel, according to sources, has also called for a CBI probe to establish the role of other senior officials as most of the officials, who appeared before the commission, have said that they were made to sign orders “under duress.”

The BSP government had demolished the entire residential colony and the Central Design Directorate (CDD) directorate building of the Irrigation Department on the ground that they were dilapidated and had hence become dangerous for its occupants.

The commission in its findings has trashed the expert panel’s report that condemned the colony and recommended its demolition.

Some officials who had then opposed the move made a CD of the entire demolition exercise and provided it to the commission.

The probe report, however, is being kept confidential as it is yet to be approved by the state government.

But principal secretary, irrigation department, Deepak Singhal, who appeared before a house committee headed by urban development Mohd Azam Khan looking into the issue, informed it that the commission had held the demolition an illegal and arbitrary act and the exercise a misuse of office and power, according to sources.

Senior PWD and irrigation department officials, however, were at a loss to explain their affidavit filed in public interest litigation on the issue pending before the high court bench here praising the Baud Vihar Shanti Upvan project.

“The PWD minister has made a statement in the House that the guilty behind the destruction and public loss of money would be punished. You have filed an affidavit before the court appreciating the project that has come up. Who do we believe?” Khan’s query left the officials stumped.

Over 100 flats belonging to officials and engineers of the design directorate of the irrigation department in Parikalp Nagar on Kanpur Road were razed in a dusk-to-dawn operation by district administration, Lucknow Municipal Corporation, the LDA and Rajkiye Nirman Nigam officials on November 21, 2008.

Rare and invaluable documents, including technical designs and study reports of important irrigation projects, handled by the Central Design Directorate (CDD) preserved in its archive were destroyed when its office too was demolished in the operation.

The SAT Rizvi Commission was set up by PWD and irrigation minister Shivpal Singh Yadav, in September 2012 to probe the demolition and expenditure of Rs. 448 crore incurred on the construction of Baudh Vihar Shanti Upvan, a dream project of former chief minister Mayawati.-