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Yogi Adityanath orders another inquiry, this time into SP’s urban projects

Yogi Adityanath expressed his unhappiness with the quality of works carried out under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).

india Updated: Apr 27, 2017 06:50 IST
Manish Chandra Pandey
Manish Chandra Pandey
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Yogi Adityanath,Samajwadi Party,Urban projects UP
UP CM Yogi Adityanath arrives for a cabinet meeting at Lok Bhawan in Lucknow.(PTI File Photo)

Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath has ordered an inquiry look into public works executed under an urban scheme by the previous Samajwadi Party administration, the latest in a series of probes ordered by the new government.

The decision came on Sunday after the chief minister expressed his unhappiness with the quality of works carried out under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).

“We will not tolerate the loot of public money,” sources quoted the CM as saying during a departmental presentation that stretched well past midnight.

The works that will be looked into include drinking water, pipeline and overhead water tank project in Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency. The Varanasi commissioner has 15 days to submit a report.

Deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya who is also responsible for the public works department, said, “This government has a zero tolerance policy on corruption.”

They had come across several instances where payments were made but works were completed only on paper, not on ground.

The process of blacklisting suspect companies and contractors was on, Maurya said.

After he was sworn in as the chief minister on March 19, Adityanath, a hardline Hindu leader, has been sitting through presentations by various departments, detailing their plans to implement the BJP’s poll promises.

A crackdown on crime and corruption the biggest promise the BJP made to the people of Uttar Pradesh, where it was voted to power with a brute majority last month.

A task force to look into “corruption of the last 15 years”, too, found a mention in the party’s Lok Kalyan Sankalp Patra, or the manifesto.

Various schemes, ranging from pure drinking water to solid waste management, were launched under the multi-crore JNNURM.

Launched in 2005 by the Manomhan Singh government, JNNURM’s aim was to improve urban infrastructure across the country. The Modi government rechristened the initiative Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation.

In a step towards making decision-making transparent, the UP government will invite e-tenders to give out contracts for its works.

More inquiries could be ordered in the coming days as departmental presentations are lined up till April 20, sources in the government said.

On Friday, the chief minister ordered a probe into the sale of sugar mills during the term of Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party, which ruled the state from 2007 to 2012.

An inquiry is already on the Gomti riverfront project, a work piloted by former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav

Union water resources minister Uma Bharti, who met Adityanath ahead of the presentations, supported his government’s probe spree.

“Looking into the mistakes of the past is important to move ahead,” she said.

The Jal Nigam, under former urban development minister Azam Khan, was the nodal agency for all JNNURM projects.

Adityanath has now tasked his urban development minister Suresh Khanna to head the probe team.

“Those who are honest have nothing to fear, those who aren’t have everything to fear,” union minorities affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said on Saturday. He reviewed the status of minority welfare schemes in the state.

First Published: Apr 10, 2017 11:59 IST