The arrest of a senior public works department (PWD) officer in Nashik by the anti-corruption bureau (ACB) for accepting a bribe, unearthed his fortune worth crores and has brou-ght the focus back on the official-contractor-politician nexus.
The ACB sleuths found out that Satish Chikhlikar, PWD’s executive engineer in the Nashik division, has wealth of more than Rs14 crore, including Rs7.45 crore in cash. The bureau plans to book Chikhlikar in a disproportionate assets case.
He was arrested on Friday after ACB officers trapped Jagdish Wagh, a section engineer from Chikhlikar’s department, accepting a bribe of Rs22,000 on his behalf.
The Opposition has demanded a probe to ascertain whether Chikhlikar was part of a racket within the department and if he has any links with politicians and other bureaucrats.
“It has been revealed that this was part of kickbacks to clear contractors’ bills. It seems PWD engineers all over the state run such rackets in connivance with ministers and contractors,” BJP leader Kirit Somaiya told HT.
State PWD Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, however, rubbished the allegations.