More than two weeks after the Noida authority got an FIR registered against two suspended engineers for alleged irregularities and fund embezzlement in the execution of infrastructure projects worth Rs. 954 crore, the city police are yet to make arrests.
The authority suspended engineer-in-chief Yadav Singh and project engineer Ramendra for the alleged fraud.
“A team of the Noida police went to the Yadav Singh’s house on Saturday. But it didn’t find any clue about him. There was only a domestic help in the house. We have come to know that Singh’s wife is not well and, probably, admitted to hospital,” said a senior police official.
Two days after the suspension and the FIR on June 13, authority chief executive officer (CEO) Sanjeev Saran had a notice pasted at Singh’s house. “Our team has gone to several times to Singh’s house, but could not get him. He has gone underground and his mobile phone is also unreachable. But we will soon nab him,” Praveen Kumar SSP, Gautam Budh Nagar, had said after the notice.
The police have lodged an FIR against the duo as well as two Ghaziabad-based construction companies — Tirupati and JSP — under various sections of the Indian penal Code, besides sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act (1988), Gangster and Anti Social Activities (Prevention) Act, 1986.
Singh was said to be “extremely close” to former Uttar Pradesh minister and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati and was responsible for the execution of all infrastructure projects in the city.
The authority turned the heat on him when the Samajwadi Party came to power in the state. The CEO had already sealed the office of Yadav Singh and relieved him of his charges before he was suspended and booked.
The BJP had also recently accused the then Mayawati government of Rs. 1 lakh crore scam in Noida and targeted Singh. The party ‘released incriminating documents’ highlighting the role of Singh and demanded an inquiry into the property, investment, connection and interest of Singh and his family members.
Agreements with construction companies signed for execution of projects worth Rs. 954 crore in eight days flat in December last year. Rules say agreements for projects worth Rs. 2,000 crore only can be signed in a financial year.
The task was to dig Udhyog Marg, shift overhead, high-voltage electricity wires underground and resurface the road.
Tenders were floated first and estimate was prepared later. Construction companies were hired without tenders being accepted, denying the authority the benefit of competitive pricing.
60 % work had been completed without the signing of agreements.
Construction companies and officers connived and caused the authority a massive revenue loss. Inflated payments were made to construction companies.
The entire process looked doubtful and the two officers were found responsible for the alleged fraud.