In what would be the first major probe by a central agency into alleged corruption in the erstwhile Akhilesh Yadav government in Uttar Pradesh, the CBI has registered an FIR in connection with alleged irregularities in the Rs 1,500 crore Gomti river front development project in Lucknow.
The CBI has registered a case of corruption, cheating and criminal conspiracy against eight engineers involved in the project, sources said.
The Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government had constituted an inquiry into the beautification project of the Gomti river front carried out by the previous SP government.
The Gomti River Project was touted by the previous government as Akhilesh Yadav’s dream project. It was, however, debated hotly during the Assembly elections in the state with the opposition alleging corruption. After he came to power, Adityanath was reportedly briefed by his officials that out of the total allocation of Rs 1,513 crore, 95 per cent of the budget — Rs 1,435 crore — had already been spent, yet less than 60 per cent of the work has been completed. He also raised objections to installation of fountains on the riverfront when the river was highly polluted.
The Adityanath government wanted the matter referred to the CBI, which took over the investigation on Thursday.
The CBI has filed an FIR against the then chief engineers Gulesh Chandra, S N Sharma, Qazim Ali, then superintendent engineers Mangal Yadav, Akhil Raman, Kamaleshwar Singh, Roop Singh Yadav and executive engineer Surendra Yadav.
Gulesh Chandra, Shiv Mangal Yadav, Akhil Raman and Roop Singh Yadav are now retired, officials said. The state government constituted-committee, under retired Allahabad High Court judge Alok Kumar Singh, had indicated prima facie irregularities in the project in its report dated May 16, 2017.
The Uttar Pradesh police had registered the case on June 19 on the basis of the report. The state government had sought a CBI probe into the matter on July 17, 2017.