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Mega projects may not be on track soon

With an inquiry by the Central Vigilance Commission under way to look into the alleged irregularities in the conceptualisation and allotment of a few mega projects worth crores of rupees...

Written by Varinder Bhatia | Chandigarh |
February 14, 2009 2:52:02 am

Officials feel CVC probe into conceptualisation and allotment of projects likely to take long to complete

With an inquiry by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) under way to look into the alleged irregularities in the conceptualisation and allotment of a few mega projects worth crores of rupees,these are likely to be delayed by several months,may be years. While the UT Administration has already sealed all the files pertaining to the projects and sent them to the CVC for a thorough scrutiny,officials feel it is unlikely that the inquiry will get over in the near future. And the projects can’t see the light of day until the probe reaches a logical conclusion.

While the UT,particularly Administrator General S F Rodrigues (Retd),“is keen to extend full cooperation to the CVC”,the latter seems to be not ready to comment on the matter.

The mega projects are worth nearly Rs 20,000 crore,according to the prevailing market rates in the city. The ‘controversial’ projects include Amusement-cum-Theme Park,Filmcity,Medicity and the new phases of the Rajiv Gandhi Information Technology Park.

Talking to Newsline,a senior UT official said: “Inquiries of such magnitude take at least four to five years before the CVC could scrutinise all the documents running into hundreds of pages. The procedure is lengthy,particularly when the probe has been initiated under the provisions of the Civil Procedure Code. The CVC will give a chance of fair hearing to all the parties concerned — UT officials,bureaucrats,selected and rejected developers. Notices will be issued to all those involved,which is such a time-consuming procedure.”

The CVC,which had put the Administration’s former and present top brass under scrutiny,is yet to issue notices to bureaucrats involved in the conceptualisation and allotment of the projects.

Another senior UT official said though the Administration and also the developers would like to have an early conclusion of the inquiry,the legal procedures would take their own time. “Files will be scrutinised,present and former bureaucrats questioned and the procedures examined. There will be dozens of things that need to be verified,cross-checked and analysed,before concluding the inquiry,which is definitely going to take a lot of time,possibly years,” said the official.

“With the kind of controversies that have cropped up,which developer would now like to invest in the city? As such their money was stuck and now this CVC probe. It is feared that the developers may stop coming to the city in the present scenario,” added another senior official.

The CVC had initiated the probe by setting up a Vigilance Commission on January 6,asking UT Chief Vigilance Officer Ram Niwas to seal all the records pertaining to the mega projects and send them to the CVC.

Legal luminaries,however,hope the CVC might not take such a long time and would complete the probe in a few months. “It might take a couple of months,since the CVC has to see the documents and give its findings,” said senior advocate M L Sarin.

On the other hand,UT Senior Standing Counsel Anupam Gupta said: “I have no idea of the procedure that the CVC proposes to follow. The Administration is only too keen to put forward its point of view to the CVC and clear all doubts regarding any project under examination. The CVC will have full cooperation of the Administration.”

Regarding the infrastructure development at the site in Sarangpur village,where the projects were to come up,Secretary (Engineering) Sanjay Kumar said: “We are doing our work. Though the infrastructure had to be shared by all the projects,we are maintaining our pace to complete the basic infrastructure. Land has been earmarked for setting up a 66-KV power substation in Sarangpur,tenders for which will be floated in the next few days.”

The CVC is maintaining silence on the matter. Repeated attempts to contact the officials concerned proved futile as they did not respond to the phone calls and e-mails.

Status report
Filmcity:
The developer wants to opt out,Administration wants to snap ties
Medicity:Evaluation of land the main issue of dispute; UT says revenue model not yet finalised
Theme Park:The developer has not deposited the yearly instalment for the last two years; Admn fails to provide land
IT park:MHA has sought report from UT on its acquisition policy

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