Uttarakhand chief minister orders probe into irregularities in two industrial projects

Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Friday directed chief secretary Utpal Singh to conduct a probe into a financial scam pertaining to the two industrial estates coming up in Sitarganj and Kashipur

dehradun Updated: Dec 15, 2017 20:38 IST
Deep Joshi
Deep Joshi
Hindustan Times
Uttrakhand news,State Infrastructure and Industrial Development Corporation Ltd,Trivendra Singh Rawat
A view of SIDCUL in Uttarkhand’s Rudrapur,(HT File Photo.)

Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Friday directed chief secretary Utpal Singh to conduct a probe into a financial scam pertaining to the two industrial estates coming up in Sitarganj and Kashipur.

The probe will be conducted by an inquiry committee to be set up by the chief secretary, officials at the chief minister’s office said.

“The chief secretary has been directed to set up a committee to probe into the financial scam pertaining to the State Infrastructure and Industrial Development Corporation Ltd (Sidcul),” said the chief minister’s media coordinator Darshan Singh Rawat.

“The CM has directed the chief secretary to ensure that the enquiry report is submitted at the earliest.”

The irregularities could run into more than ₹ 750 crore, Darshan Singh said, adding that the swindle pertained to the projects relating to the industrial estates being set up by Sidcul, a state government undertaking.

“The probe has been ordered in keeping with the state government’s zero tolerance for corruption.”

Rawat ordered the probe after complaints against the works relating to the two industrial estates. “Huge funds were released for infrastructure related works like roads, drainage to be taken up in the twin industrial estates,” Darshan Singh said, adding that hardly anything actually come up on the ground.

He said the Sidcul roped in a number of agencies as well as agencies from outside the state to set up the infrastructure.

“A thorough probe may bring to book all those agencies, contractors as well as officials,” Darshan Singh said, adding that officials might be involved as no scam can be perpetrated without their involvement.

“Whether the financial scam happened in the past five years or before that, is immaterial. The point is that the financial irregularity has come to light,” he quoted the chief minister as saying.

Asked if the government might order a CBI probe into the financial scam, he said it will depend on the recommendations of the proposed panel headed by Singh.

This is the third such instance where Rawat ordered a probe after the scam to the tune of ₹ 300 crore pertaining to the NH-74 in Udham Singh Nagar and the ₹600 crore food scam pertaining to the irregularities in the public distribution system.

Sources said the latest financial scam was unearthed by the commissioner, Industries, Saujanya soon after she joined that post recently.

Saujanya told HT that she blocked the payment of ₹ 250 crore that was to be made to the agencies assigned the task of setting up the infrastructure.

“Additionally, there are also liabilities to the tune of₹ 738 crore in terms of loans to be paid to creditors,” Saujanya said, adding that she neither had “papers available relating to the works done nor enough photographic records” of those works.

“I have informed my superiors about those lacunas.”

First Published: Dec 15, 2017 20:38 IST