CBI begins probe into land deals for Yamuna e-way
New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has initiated a probe into suspected financial irregularities in the acquisition of land for the 165- kilometre Yamuna Expressway project connecting Greater Noida and Agra.
The Uttar Pradesh government had ordered a CBI probe in the matter in July 2018. The case, first registered by Noida police, was reregistered by the agency on Tuesday.
In its first information report (FIR), CBI has named P C Gupta , former chief executive officer of the Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA), as the main accused. Twenty others have also been charged with criminal conspiracy and corruption. Gupta is currently in jail after his arrest by Noida police in June last year in connection with the case.
The project was started in 2009 by then Uttar Pradesh chief minister and Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati and was inaugurated by her successor Akhilesh Yadav in 2012.
Gupta, who served as CEO of YEIDA between April 2013 and June 2015, is alleged to have, in collusion with his associates and relatives, purchased 57.15 hectares for Rs 85.49 crore from farmers in seven villages and later sold the land to YEIDA within four to six months for more than double the prices.
An enquiry by YEIDA found that it suffered a loss of Rs 126 crore because of the purchase of unnecessary farm land through various shell companies or individuals. The land was taken in scattered pockets of seven villages along the Yamuna Expressway for construction of “exit and entry ramps” between December 2013 and May 2015.
The enquiry revealed that only eight hectare out of this was actually used for the construction of ramps. Most of the land is still lying unused.
While conducting an enquiry, CBI, in February this year, arrested one of its inspectors and booked an assistant sub-inspector for trying to influence a probe conducted by Uttar Pradesh police. The CBI officers had demanded Rs 10 lakh each from a Tehsildar (local revenue official) who was being probed by Noida police.