The arrest of public works department executive engineer, Satish Chikhlikar, by the anti corruption bureau (ACB) has once again brought into focus the officials-contractors-politicians nexus. The Opposition parties, which are whiffing a major scam, have alleged that the kickbacks were received in connivance with higher officials and politicians.
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kirit Somaiya on Saturday gave a written complaint to the director general of ACB and demanded that the investigating authorities track down the entire money trail in this scam and look into similar rackets in the state.
“In the ongoing case, the names of dozens of officials, contractors and politicians have come under scanner. Twentysix properties of Chikhlikar have been attached by officials and all this was amassed as part of the 6% kickback to clear bills for works undertaken in 201213,” Somaiya told HT.
Somaiya said that if such a huge amount of wealth had been uncovered from one engineer in charge of only four tehsils in Nashik, the proportion of the total PWD racket across Maharashtra would be huge. “It seems that the PWD engineers all over the Maharashtra run such kickback rackets conniving with ministers and contractors,” states Somaiya’s complaint.
He said the ACB and PWD are yet to ask for names of contractors in the area. “Both the enforcement directorate and income tax department should also be involved in the investigation, which hasn’t been done so far,’’ said Somiaya.
Speaking to HT, Somaiya alleged state PWD minister Chhagan Bhujbal involvement in the scam. However, Bhujbal has termed the allegations baseless saying Somaiya has been making random allegations against him. Somaiya has also filed a PIL in the high court against Bhujbal in the Maharashtra Sadan scam.