Tainted Managing Director of the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation (DFCC), V.K. Kaul, has been sacked.
At a meeting with Railway Board members on October 4, Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee directed officials to take immediate punitive action against Kaul — accused in a multi-crore scam involving three contracts in 2008.
The government has decided to terminate the contractual services of Kaul with immediate effect by making payment of three months’ notice pay, says a Railways order of October 10.
As reported in the September 18 issue of the HT, a World Bank mission visited New Delhi last month — following the Central Vigilance Commission’s (CVC’s) investigations into contracts awarded by Kaul.
After a meeting with Chairman, Railway Board (CRB) Vivek Sahai last month, World Bank team leader G. George Tharakan said that the bank was “pleased and encouraged that the Railways was taking the CVC reports seriously”.
Tharakan’s concerns are legitimate, as a R4,000-crore contract funded by the World Bank is likely to be shortly awarded.
Arguably the biggest Railways scam ever from one location, the DFCC controversy involves the award of contracts at rates higher than the tendered cost.
The controversy first came to light on May 4, when the CVC shot off a letter to the Railway Board, listing out the charges of “serious corruption” and “criminal conspiracy against public interest”.
After the departmental probe substantiated the charges against Kaul, the Railway Board directed him to proceed on leave on August 10.
“Kaul’s exit will not have any adverse impact on the project”, acting DFCC Managing Director S.K. Malik said.