Bhopal: Congress fails to fulfil promise to probe plantation scam

BHOPAL: Even after nine months of forming the government in state, the ruling Congress has still to fulfil the promises it made in its vachan patra.

The Congress before coming to power had announced to institute probe into ‘scams’ committed during the BJP regime, however, no concrete steps have been initiated so far to uncover these alleged scams.

CM Kamal Nath had set up a committee consisting of five ministers to probe into Rs 500 crore Narmada Plantation Scam in state assembly in previous session.

The committee headed by finance minister Tarun Bhanot has panchayat and rural development minister Kamleshwar Patel, Horticulture minister Sachin Yadav, PHE minister Sukhdev Panse besides forest minister Umang Singhar as its member.

About three months have passed since the committee was formed but not even the first meeting of it has been convened that would decide the agenda of investigation.

Forest minister Umang Singhar said that the meeting of the committee was imperative to start investigations into plantation scam. “I have done my bit and had gone to Betul district on surprise checking. I was surprised to find huge anomalies during physical verification,” said Singhar.

Several departments were involved in the drive therefore the committee was constituted. I did my part for the forest department but panchayat department, horticulture and other departments need to investigate as well. Meeting of the committee would be convened soon, he added.

Rs 455 crore plantation drive along banks of river Narmada on July 2, 2017 during Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led BJP government was raised frequently during assembly elections by the Congress. It also promised to conduct detailed probe into it.

The drive to plant a whopping 6.6 crore saplings along the Narmada river across the state in a single day was promoted as a big event by Shivraj government.

State government had later applied for the Guinness World Record as well. However, after spending crores of rupees and engaging nearly the entire government machinery in the plantation drive, the erstwhile BJP government failed to get the world record status.

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