CPM-controlled civic bodies under probe for ‘scams’

The state government has also ordered a special audit of the finance of another CPM controlled civic body Bally Municipality in Howrah following complaints that financial irregularities had taken place in the last few years.

Written by Express News Service | Kolkata | Published: September 11, 2012 3:26 am

The Trinamool Congress-led government has sought opinion of Advocate General (AG) on what legal action could be taken against the Left Front controlled Rajarhat municipality following complaints that the civic body has allowed illegal construction work to go on in the area.

The state government has also ordered a special audit of the finance of another CPM controlled civic body — Bally Municipality in Howrah — following complaints that financial irregularities had taken place in the last few years.

“There were many complaints regarding construction of illegal buildings in Rajarhat. We had ordered an inquiry. The probe report has been given to Advocate General for his opinion,” said Municipal Affairs minister Firad Hakim,who rejected allegations that the government initiated the probe out of political vendetta.

Highly placed sources at the Writers’ Buildings said the Municipal and Urban Development Department had initiated a probe into alleged nexus between a group of real estate agents and authorities of Rajarhat municipality. “Gross anomalies have been detected in giving permission to a large number of buildings that were constructed. Anomalies were detected in sanctioning the building plan. There are complaints that civic bodies had allowed unauthorised construction,” an official said.

Sources said the government had to replace the initial investigating team after there were some reports that attempts were being made to influence some of the investigating officials.

Regarding Bally municipality,Hakim said after the special audit was ordered,files were being allegedly taken out of the municipality office at midnight. “Removing files from the office,that too at midnight,gives birth to suspicion about corruption. This is why I asked Director of Local Bodies to probe into the complaint,” said the minister.

Political observers,however,feel that the state government’s move has less to do with tackling corruption but aimed at mounting pressure on the CPM.

A CPM leader,who did not wish to be named,alleged that the state government was trying to dissolve the civic body at Rajarhat where CPM has a strong presence. Hakim,however,refuted the charges saying the state government has no ill intention. “But if there is any complaint of corruption,it has to be probed,” he added.

Nothing to hide,says CPM leader

CPM leader and chairman of Rajarhat Municipality,Tapas Chatterjee,brushed aside the allegations of wrong doing saying,Rajarhat municipality never violated any rules. “If the state government has anything to discuss with us,we will be ready to offer help,” Chatterjee said and added that he had no knowledge about a probe that was ordered by the state government.

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