Gomti River Front: ED raids in UP, Delhi, Rajasthan, Haryana in connection with the money laundering probe
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday conducted searches at 10 locations in Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan and Haryana in connection with the money laundering probe into the ₹1,500-crore Gomti riverfront development project in Lucknow.
The ED sleuths raided the offices and residence of the accused and their associates involved in the case, said an ED officer who did not want to be named. “The raids were conducted on the premises of the six companies involved in the river front development project,” the officer said.
Along with documents, the ED officials seized computers, laptops and other incriminating materials during the raids, he added.
The ED had filed a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in March last year after taking cognizance of a CBI FIR.
After becoming chief minister, Yogi Adityanath had inspected the Gomti riverfront in March, 2017. He expressed displeasure over the mis-utilization of funds as well as delay in the completion of the project. On April 5, 2017 the state government constituted a three-member judicial committee, headed by retired Allahabad high court judge Alok Kumar Singh, to probe the alleged financial irregularities in the project.
The committee, in its report, submitted to the state government on May 16, 2017 had prima facie indicated towards irregularities in the project. The state police on June 19, 2017 registered a case on the basis of the committee report.
In July 2017, the state government recommended a CBI probe into the alleged irregularities “committed with a criminal intent” in the implementation of the Gomti river channelization project and the Gomti riverfront development project by the state irrigation department. The CBI took over the case in November 2017.
Later the CBI filed an FIR against the then chief engineers Gulesh Chandra, S N Sharma and Qazim Ali, then superintendent engineers Mangal Yadav, Akhil Raman, Kamaleshwar Singh and Roop Singh Yadav and then executive engineer Surendra Yadav.
The ED officer said Gulesh Chandra, Mangal Yadav, Akhil Raman and Roop Singh Yadav have already retired.
The ₹1,500-crore project involved construction of a rubber dam to maintain its water level, a stadium, an ampi-theatre for 2,000 people, cycle and jogging tracks, a play area for children and a musical fountain. Official sources said only 60 per cent of the planned work was complete but a much bigger portion of the allotted amount had been spent so far.
Irrigation minister Dharampal Singh had earlier said, “The state government has ordered inquiry into the irregularities in the Gomti riverfront project launched by Samajwadi Party government. The engineers who have embezzled the fund and had given contracts to favourite companies are under the scanner. Probe is continuing and a case has been registered against the corrupt engineers. They will be sent to jail as well.” (With agency input)
A total of 1,177 athletes from local government schools participated in trials held by the state sports department at Guru Nanak Stadium, Ludhiana, for admission to various sports wings in the district. While 717 players participated in the trials for on Friday, a total 460 players participated on Saturday. There are 400 seats in the sports wings of Ludhiana and according to officials, the selected students will get ₹100-200 each per day for food.
Ahead of the 38th anniversary week of Operation Blue Star starting on Monday, security cover at the Ludhiana station has been beefed up. The Government Railway Police here have directed all staff to not take leave and the CIA staff and sabotage squad have also been asked to remain present at the station throughout the week . The Ludhiana police commissioner has also constituted a special team to scale up security at the railway station.
Fruit growers from the hill state, who have for long been demanding a raise in import duties on apples amid dipping market share, are hopeful that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will make an announcement to this effect during his visit to Shimla on May 31.
Pune: To collect rent dues from parking contractors, the Pune Municipal Corporation will take the help of tax and legal departments. Lands and estate department handed over the tendering process of parking lots to the projects department in October 2019. According to PMC, the project department will seek assistance from its tax counterpart to attach personal properties of defaulters to clear dues. It could also ask the legal department to file suits against the defaulters.
PUNE Maharashtra home minister Dilip Walse-Patil on Saturday demanded action against former director of the Narcotics Control Bureau Mumbai zone, Sameer Wankhede, for falsely implicating Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan in the drugs-on-cruise case. A special investigation team of the anti-drugs agency on Friday filed a 6,000-page chargesheet that named 14 accused, while keeping out the names of AAryan Khanand a few others.