August 23, 2021 5:18:49 pm
Citing a CAG report, the Aam Aadmi Party on Monday accused the Uttar Pradesh government of indulging in corruption in organising the 2019 Kumbh Mela held in Allahabad.
According to the CAG report, there were “huge irregularities” in the expenditure of Rs 2,700-crore fund allocated for organising the Kumbh, AAP MP and Uttar Pradesh incharge Sanjay Singh said in a statement.
The audit found that 32 tractors purchased using the fund were registered under numbers of cars, mopeds and scooters, he alleged.
“This is a small example, but based on this, you can guess how much corruption took place in the name of Kumbh,” he said.
“Be it the Ram temple in Ayodhya or the Kumbh in Prayagraj, the BJP is not letting go of any chance to indulge in corruption. I want to ask Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and the BJP to at least spare religion,” Singh said.
“The people of Uttar Pradesh are seeing your reality and will reply at an opportune time,” he said.
An audit of the 2019 Kumbh, according to the Comptroller and Auditor General’s (CAG) report, found wasteful expenditure of crores of rupees.
The Urban Development Department had sanctioned Rs 2,743.60 crore to the Kumbh Mela officer and of this, Rs 2,112 crore was spent till July 2019, the report said.
Besides, various departments released funds from their budgets for the purchase of materials and for work related to the Kumbh. However, the mela officer did not provide any information about the funds released by other departments and hence, the overall expenditure could not be ascertained, it said.
According to the audit, an amount of Rs 65.87 crore was also allocated to the Home (Police) Department from the State Disaster Relief Fund for the purchase of equipment for the Kumbh, even though the fund is only to be used for providing immediate relief to people affected by cyclone, drought, earthquake and fire etc.
Instances of getting work done for an amount higher than the financial sanction or getting it done without any financial sanction were also found, the report said.
The Urban Development Department had sanctioned Rs 105 crore for getting tin, tent, pandal and barricading work done in the mela area, whereas the mela officer spent Rs 143.13 crore. This created liabilities worth Rs 38.13 crore, it said.
The CAG report was tabled in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly by the state government on August 19.
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