Bhopal: EOW Finds Only One Accused In 877 Cr Scam

Bhopal: EOW Finds Only One Accused In 877 Cr Scam

The biggest allegation against Kamal Nath government came to naught.

NITENDRA SHARMAUpdated: Wednesday, March 20, 2024, 12:11 AM IST
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Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): The officials of the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) have found only one accused in connection with the alleged biggest scam in the 15-month rule of the Congress government led by Kamal Nath.

EOW found the then engineer-in-chief (E-in-C) of the water resources department Rajiv Suklikar in the advance payment scam made for seven irrigation projects worth Rs 877 crore.

EOW has sought permission from the state government to prosecute Suklikar.

EOW could not prove any charge against two other officials – the then chief engineer Shirish Mishra and superintending engineer Sharad Shrivastava – whose names were mentioned in an FIR filed in connection with the case.

Despite the FIR, Mishra has been given the charge of E-in-C. Allegations were also made against the then additional chief secretary WRD M Gopal Reddy, the then minister of WRD Hukum Singh Karada and former chief minister Kamal Nath.

The probe agency, however, could not prove charges against any one.

In his statement toEOW, Suklikar said advance payment for seven irrigation projects worth Rs 877 crore had been made after receiving oral orders from the then additional chief secretary of the Water Resources Department M Gopal Reddy by changing the conditions of the tenders.

On the grounds of Suklikar’s statement, a statement of Reddy was also taken.

In his statement, Reddy, however, denied issuing any oral orders to Suklikar.

EOW did not take Suklikar’s statement into consideration, and accepted the one made by Reddy.

So, action was not taken either against the officials, either senior or junior, to Suklikar.

In the campaigning for the 2023 assembly election, the BJP took Nath to task over the scam. A poster of Nath was also put up in Bhopal. The probe agency, however, did not find anything against anyone in connection with the alleged scam.

What is the issue?

In 2018-19, the companies that got the tenders for seven irrigation projects worth Rs 877 crore – Hanota dam, Banda dam, Gaund dam, Nirgud dam, Ghoghri, Bardha dam and Sitanagar dam – were given advance payment by changing the conditions of the tenders.

After the initial inquiry, EOW registered an FIR, but the probe agency found the then engineer-in-chief Rajiv Suklikar the only accused in the case.

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