LUCKNOW DEVELOPMENT Authority (LDA) vice-chairman BB Singh served show cause notices on three of his officials after anomalies were found in the plantation drive and construction of tree-guards in the authority’s Sharda Nagar Housing Scheme.
This may just be the tip of an iceberg given lakhs, if not crores, of rupees that have reportedly been spent by LDA in the name of plantation drive ever since Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav kicked-off the green campaign. LDA’s target was to plant 1,00,800 trees and the development agency is said to have overshot the objective.
Not surprising, therefore, the LDA VC is having second thoughts on the claims made by his officials in the status report submitted on the plantation drive. “I have ordered a random check of the plantation that has been undertaken by the LDA in the past two-and-a-half years,” said Singh told Hindustan Times. While the exact extent of the fraud is still being calculated, sources in the agency said irregularities detected during the preliminary investigations it was found that in the Sharda Nagar Scheme the alleged misappropriation of funds is more than Rs 12 lakh.
The scheme’s executive engineer AP Singh, the assistant and junior engineers have been asked to submit their explanation within two days after an inquiry by executive engineer Sanjiv Sinha in the matter indicted them.
Against the prescribed target of 3,600 plants and as many tree-guards in Sharda Nagar, only 1800 saplings are said to have been planted. Excluding the cost of the plant, which can vary from Rs 60 to Rs 300 depending on the variety, each tree-guard made of bricks, according to LDA officials, costs around Rs 700.
Since executive engineer AP Singh has questioned the findings of the inquiry conducted by Sinha, the LDA VC has asked another LDA official to crosscheck the findings even as reports indicated that a damage-control move was already on. “Plantation work is going on at a brisk pace in the scheme presently as a cover up,” said an official.