Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) registered a case against the then Chief Engineer of Water Resources Department (WRD) Rajiv Kumar Suklikar and three others in the alleged advance payment scam of around Rs 900 crore, the police said on Thursday.
Director General of EOW, Ajay Sharma told Free Press that the officials of the WRD had laid a conspiracy and had given advance payment to the private construction companies. The money was given by violating the norms of the contract and it caused a serious financial setback to the state government.
The state government had written a letter to EOW to investigate the case. In the preliminary enquiry it came in light that from the year 2018 to 2019 the department officials had paid the amount to seven construction companies by violating the norms.
The state government tried to increase irrigation facilities in the water shortage areas like Sagar, Betul, Damoh and Singroli. It was planned to prepare a canal irrigation programme and the schemes were sanctioned.
According to the contract, the dam was to be constructed first and then the canals were scheduled to be constructed. But with the help of the departmental officers, the companies purchased the pipes and other equipment needed for the canal construction without constructing the dam.
The EOW seized various documents and came to know that the fraud was done with the involvement of the officials of the department.
The DG added that they had sought permission from the state government to register the case against the government officials. They had written the letter on March 9, 2022 and the state government had given the approval on March 30th.
EOW police station in charge Dinesh Joshi informed that after the enquiry the involvement of the then Chief Engineer and other three were brought to light. The case has been registered under section 420,120-B of IPC and section 7(C) of corruption act, against them.
Sources informed that the amount was given in advance into the following projects to the companies.
Dam and the Payment
Hanota project of Sagar district Rs 27 crore
Banda project of Sagar district Rs 222 crore
Gond project of Singroli district Rs 243 crore
Nigud project Betul district Rs 30 crore
Ghoghri project of Betul district Rs 241 crore
Bardha project of Betul district Rs 41 crore
Sitanagar project of Damoh district Rs 152 crore
On January 31, 2021, Free Press was the first to report about the scam.