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Siddique announces probe into PWD bungling

PWD Minister Nasimuddin Siddique announces probe into large-scale bungling in constructions of bridges and roads in the state, reports M Hasan.
None | By M Hasan, Lucknow
UPDATED ON MAY 19, 2007 09:20 PM IST

The newly appointed PWD Minister Nasimuddin Siddique on Saturday announced probe into large-scale bungling in constructions of bridges and roads in the state. The minister said inquiry would be instituted against tainted officers in PWD.

Addressing newsmen in Lucknow Siddique, who also holds excise, irrigation, sugarcane development, prohibition and housing portfolios, said "he had inherited messy situation in the PWD" from the previous Samajwadi Party government.

Siddique said "amid rampant corruption there was poor quality in road construction and imbalance development". The minister said "funds were approved but they did not benefit the people and only few districts were selected for developmental activities".

The minister said "while the previous government had made tall claims about the constructions of 2000 bridges, the construction of only 412 bridges was undertaken and 80 per cent of them were in 10 districts". Siddique said other districts were completely neglected.

Announcing to review the necessity of these bridges in these districts, Siddique said "priority would be fixed before further going ahead with the project". The minister said "there was Mafiosi rule in tendering process in the PWD".

While pointing out that officers in PWD were harassed on caste line tenders were even finalized at the residence of a leader in Jamo in Gauriganj (Sultanpur).

Siddique said "sub-standard material was used in construction work in Rajkiya Nirman Nigam". "Even Safai (hometown of former chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav) was not spared of sub-standard material," the minister remarked. He said "bridges were over-estimated to help Mafiosi-contractors".

The minister, who also reviewed the functioning of the excise department, has directed the officers to control illicit liquor production, which has assumed serious dimension in the state. He said instructions had been issued to conduct raids.

Similarly, he said places had been identified in Lucknow where "there has been quantum jump in the sale of charas, opium and brown sugar". The minister said "effective measures would be taken to control the menace". About housing department, the minister said old projects would be reviewed.

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