The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) of Gujarat on Sunday booked 19 persons, including three former chief officers of Okha municipality and former presidents of the civic body in Devbhumi Dwarka district for alleged fraud to the tune of Rs 2.75 crore in constructing toilets in the town between 2014 and 2015.
Based on a complaint filed by ACB Inspector S J Sureja, the Devbhoomi Dwarka unit of the ACB booked G K Chandpa, M M Kawana and Jayesh Patel, the then chief officer of Okha municipality for criminal conspiracy, forgery and criminal breach of trust under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The FIR also named Devshi Goradiya, Subhas Goswami, Subhas Bhayani, Balubha Ker, all former presidents of Okha municipality, some engineers of the civic body, presidents of NGOs which had been assigned contracts to construct toilets and supervisor of All India Institute of Local Self-Governance, Ahmedabad. In all, the FIR has named 19 persons as accused.
The ACB said that the Okha municipality undertook the construction of 6,752 toilets in Okha town and on Bet Dwarka island as part of the Swachh Bharat Mission to make the town free from open defecation. Seven NGOs were given work orders to build the toilets. However, these agencies did not construct 3,354 toilets even as they claimed money for them at the rate of Rs 12,000 for constructing one toilet, stated the FIR. In collusion with then chief officers, engineers and presidents of the municipality, they forged documents to claim on paper that all the toilets had been constructed and claimed money given by the government as state assistance, the FIR alleged.
The matter came to light after a person filed a complaint with district authorities who in turn had asked the ACB to probe the matter.