The State government on Tuesday recommended a CBI investigation in allegations of embezzlement of around Rs 700 crore by a Hyderabad-based private firm that was awarded the contract to construct the Delhi-Saharanpur four-lane highway. Principal Secretary (Home), Arvind Kumar confirmed that the letter to Department of Personnel & Training (Ministry of Home Affairs) recommending CBI probe into the matter had been sent on May 16.
Former Principal Secretary UP State Highway Authority (UPSHA) Navneet Sehgal told The Indian Express that the contract, worth Rs 2500 crore, was awarded to the firm in 2010 and work had started in 2011. However, the firm stopped work citing environment clearance and despite it being cleared later, the work wasn’t completed, added Sehgal.
Upon inspection of the work that it did, he said, it was discovered that the firm had used only Rs 100 crore of the Rs 700 crore it had withdrawn from public and private banks against the state government project. Since it was a matter of misuse of public money, a CBI probe was recommended and forwarded to the then SP government in February this year, added Sehgal. A police case was also registered in Lucknow in this regard.
UPSHA principal secretary Avanesh Awasthi, who took over from Sehgal, said, “After taking charge of the office, I came across the serious irregularities and recommended the CBI investigation to the government.”