Updated: July 21, 2015 2:11:48 am
With the Guwahati water supply project finding mention in the Louis Berger bribery case, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Monday ordered a “high-level” inquiry into the allegations that government functionaries in the state received bribe for awarding a contract to the US-based company. The CM also asked the Additional Chief Secretary, Subhash Chandra Das, to submit his report “soon”.
The CM’s office said the state government would refer the case to the CBI if the Additional Chief Secretary’s investigation found any prima facie evidence.
The Opposition parties have been gunning for Gogoi and the former Guwahati Development Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma in connection with the case.
Louis Berger Group Inc had signed a contract agreement with the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) along with Nihon Suido Consultants Co Ltd, Japan, and Mumbai-based Shah Technical Consultants Private Ltd on February 5, 2010 to provide “certain consulting services” for one of the four new water supply projects that the GMDA had taken up in the past 5-6 years.
While GMDA has undertaken three major water supply projects for Guwahati city, all of which are running behind schedule, the specific project for which Louis Berger and its two other associates had signed the consultancy contract was the JICA-assisted South Central Guwahati Water Supply Project.
Dhiren Barua, chairman of GMDA, said the authority was not involved in any manner in selection of Louis Berger or any other firm as consultants. “It is for the government and the Guwahati Development Department to select the consultants.”
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