After the new government under Yogi Adityanath gave the go-ahead for a CAG audit of Ghaziabad development authority (GDA), the officials have been asked to furnish project files from 2005 till 2017. The period of audit implies that the projects carried out under the regimes of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Samajwadi Party (SP) will be scrutinised.
During the SP regime, the CAG teams were denied permission in June 2016 to audit GDA. The team had started work but it was suspended as the state government denied permission.
“The CAG team has sought a list of files, from 2005 to 2017, from authority officials. A specific percentage of files will be checked, based on the cost of the project. It is expected that all the files of projects over Rs10 crore will be checked in totality,” an official said.
“Files from all sections of GDA were sought. The audit team was supposed to check projects from 2005 to 2015 but it will now check instances from 2005 to 2017, as permission was denied earlier, where amounts have been spent on roads, land acquisition, parks, compounding, underpasses, flyovers, map clearances and purchase of vehicles,” the official said.
GDA’s financial controller, TR Yadav, refused to comment on the audit period and the nature of files sought.
The state was under SP rule, headed by Mulayam Singh Yadav, from August 2003 to May 2007, while the BSP chief Mayawati took over from May 2007 to March 2012. Mulayam’s son, Akhilesh, took over as UP chief minister after BSP suffered a major drubbing in the 2012 assembly elections.
The CAG audit had also been a bone of contention between the UP governor and the state government. The former had written several letters to the state government and also to the Central government but the SP government did not budge from its stance.
After Yogi Adityanath took over, the officials consented for a CAG audit of GDA and cited a 1985 government order, which allowed for an audit to be conducted. The GDA officials have also provided a working office to the CAG team.
In his election speech in Ghaziabad on February 8, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also targeted GDA and said that there was some ‘Zameeno ka ghotala’ (land scams). He had promised a CAG audit of GDA as well as other development authorities in the state. His promise was kept by the new CM who recently ordered a CAG audit of all development authorities, including GDA.
In the latest move, the state government also shunted out GDA vice-chairman Vijay Kumar Yadav and placed him on the wait list.