Gomti riverfront: UP state government to lodge FIR, recommend CBI probe soon
A case will be registered on the basis of the recommendations of the four-member committee headed by state minister for urban development Suresh Khanna. The panel was formed to recommend action against those who were indicted by a judicial committee for irregularities and over expenditure.lucknow Updated: Jun 19, 2017 16:09 IST
With the Uttar Pradesh government contemplating recommendation of a CBI probe, an FIR will soon be lodged in connection with the irregularities in Rs 1,503-crore Gomti riverfront project.
A case will be registered on the basis of the recommendations of the four-member committee headed by state minister for urban development Suresh Khanna.
The Khanna panel was formed to recommend action against those who were indicted by a judicial committee for irregularities and over expenditure of Rs 241 crore.
The judicial committee had indicted former chief secretary Alok Ranjan, the then principal secretary (irrigation) Deepak Singhal and senior engineers associated with the project, for irregularities.
The Khanna committee submitted its 11-page report to chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday and recommended that the state government should lodge an FIR and gives its nod to a CBI probe into the project.
According to sources, the Khanna committee heard the officers indicted for irregularities and concluded that further probe was required to ensure action against the officials concerned.
Though the state government had the option of ordering a probe by the vigilance department, the Khanna committee suggested a CBI probe be ordered for impartial investigation.
The panel has favoured completion of the project with ‘minimum cost’ to make the riverfront useful for the public. A fresh estimate for minimum expenditure for the installation of STP and completion of the project will be worked out soon.
The CM had constituted a judicial committee to probe into the irregularities in the project when he found that only 60 per cent work had been carried out despite an expenditure of Rs 1,435 crore (95% of project cost).
The three-member committee, headed by retired high court judge AK Singh, submitted its report early in May this year. The members of the committee included IIM professor AK Garg and retired professor, BHU, UK Chaudhary.
In its 80-page inquiry report, the judicial committee had taken exception to the implementation of the project without appropriate environment clearance, over expenditure and poor monitoring.
“The then executive engineer, superintending engineer, chief engineer, chairman of monitoring committee, and principal secretary (irrigation) appear to be responsible for gross negligence,” the report observed.
The then chief secretary Alok Ranjan led the monitoring committee constituted to oversee the implementation of the project under the previous government.
The committee questioned Ranjan’s role as the chairman of the monitoring committee.
“Keeping in view the size of the project, a high-level monitoring committee was constituted for the purpose (to check the delay) with the then chief secretary (Alok Ranjan) as chairman and comprising the then principal secretary, irrigation, (Deepak Singhal), chief engineer, head of irrigation department and other engineers as members,” the judicial committee report said.
“The monitoring committee held 23 meetings in two years. But for all these points mentioned in this report, the committee’s chairman and members are prima facie guilty,” the report said.
The committee noted that only the then executive engineer got the sludge auctioned and deposited Rs 19 lakh. It also found irregularities to the tune of about Rs 1 crore in auctioning of sledge.