EOW: Loss of Rs 1,410 cr in construction of memorials

‘Construction material was bought at exorbitant rates during BSP rule’

Written by Express News Service | Lucknow | Published: April 23, 2013 2:52:39 am

‘Construction material was bought at exorbitant rates during BSP rule’

In its interim inquiry report to Lokayukta N K Mehrotra,Uttar Pradesh Police’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW) has alleged that irregularities in the construction of memorials and parks by the previous BSP government caused a financial loss of Rs 1,410 crore because the construction material was bought at “exorbitant rates”.

The EOW,which was tasked by the government to help the Lokayukta in the investigation,submitted the report last week.

Sources in the Lokayukta office said the EOW report claims that a total of Rs 4,276 crore was released by the government through Lucknow Development Authority,Noida,Housing,Public Works Department,Irrigation and Culture Departments for the construction of memorials and parks in Lucknow and Noida. The report found that as much as Rs 4,148 crore of the released money was spent on the constructions,sources said.

According to sources,the EOW report says that various construction materials,including the sandstone used for building parks and memorials,was bought at about 34 per cent inflated rates. Sources said the inquiry found that the sandstone was bought from a consortium of leaseholders at exorbitant rates,without conducting any market survey.

The EOW report has blamed officials of the Rajkiya Nirman Nigam (RNN),which was the nodal agency for construction of parks and memorials,PWD and Geology and Mines Departments. However,sources said that no IAS officer had been implicated. The report has said that role of former minister for mines Babu Singh Kushwaha and former PWD minister Naseemuddin Siddiqui needs to be examined,said an official.

Sources said while Siddiqui,in his reply,had claimed that all decisions were taken at the government level,Kushwaha had blamed Siddiqui,saying he was overseeing the construction of all parks and memorials.

In June last year,the Akhilesh Yadav government had asked the Lokayukta to conduct an inquiry into the alleged irregularities in the purchase of sandstone for construction of parks and memorials during the BSP regime.

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